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SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 21 attorneys general, filed an amicus brief in support of a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion care in Preterm-Cleveland, et al. v. Himes. The case involves an Ohio law that criminalizes abortion before viability based on a woman’s reason for seeking abortion, running in direct conflict with the Supreme Court precedent set in Roe v. Wade. The amicus brief reaffirms the coalition’s previous support for Preterm-Cleveland and argues that the preliminary injunction issued by the Sixth Circuit Court should again be upheld by the en banc panel.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, and nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court affirmed women’s autonomy over their healthcare decisions in Roe v. Wade,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Ohio’s law takes our nation backwards and could erase decades of hard-fought victories. We stand with women across America in this fight to protect their constitutional right to reproductive freedom.”
In December 2017, Ohio passed a law to criminalize abortion in certain cases, at all stages of pregnancy, making it inconsistent with the Supreme Court's decades-long legal standard put forward in Roe v. Wade. Preterm-Cleveland, a medical facility, challenged the constitutionality of the law and successfully blocked its enforcement, which was set to go into effect in March 2018. The decision was then appealed by Ohio to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the District Court’s preliminary injunction. Ohio sought further review of the decision, petitioning the Sixth Circuit to hear the appeal en banc. In the brief submitted today, the coalition restates its support for the injunction and argues that Ohio’s law is incompatible with the law and Supreme Court precedent.
Today’s brief is Attorney General Becerra’s latest effort in the fight to protect women’s reproductive rights:
Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the brief is available here.