Attorney General Becerra Leads Multistate Amicus Brief to Protect Women’s Reproductive Rights

Friday, April 12, 2019
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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today led a coalition of 22 Attorneys General in filing a brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, supporting Mississippi’s last abortion clinic in Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al. v. State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al. The case challenges House Bill 1510, which prohibits doctors from providing abortion services past 15 weeks. California’s coalition argues that state laws cannot prohibit a woman from her constitutionally protected right to terminate her pregnancy before viability under Roe v. Wade

“The ban Mississippi has placed on women’s access to abortion is unjust, unlawful, and unfair,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Laws like Mississippi’s are a systematic attempt to undo a woman’s constitutional rights under Roe v. Wade. I will continue to stand up for safe access to reproductive care and defend these rights for all women."

In March 2018, Mississippi enacted House Bill 1510. House Bill 1510 places a ban on abortion services after the 15th week of pregnancy. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, as the sole abortion provider in Mississippi, filed suit challenging the ban and requesting a temporary restraining order. The plaintiffs named as defendants the state officers responsible for overseeing public health. On November 20, 2018, the district court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs and issued a permanent injunction. The court held that the proposed state law violated women’s right to due process under the 14th Amendment.

Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing the brief are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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