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US Department of Justice must respond to appeals court's decision on Texas abortion law by Tuesday

A federal appeals court allowed the law to resume temporarily on Friday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Tuesday is the last day for the U.S. Justice Department to reply to the ruling that restored Texas' controversial new abortion law.

A federal appeals court allowed the law to resume temporarily on Friday. The Joe Biden administration urged the courts again on Monday to step in and block the law.

The federal appeals court decision came just one day after clinics began racing to serve patients seeking an abortion for the first time since the law went into effect Sept. 1. The appeals court gave the Biden administration until Tuesday to respond.

The law bans abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape and incest. 

The law is enforced by lawsuits filed by private citizens who are entitled to collect at least $10,000 in damages if successful.  

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the new law recently, and Judge Robert Pitman ruled in the DOJ's favor, ordering Texas to suspend the law. He called the law an  “offensive deprivation" of a constitutional right.

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