Attorney General Bonta Continues to Fight Unconstitutional Attempts to Rollback Reproductive Rights, Opposes Indiana’s Abortion Restrictions
OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today continued his fight against unconstitutional state abortion laws. Attorney General Bonta joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Whole Woman's Health Alliance, et al. v. Rokita, et al., urging the court to affirm a district court’s decision to halt certain regulations Indiana has passed to restrict access to abortion. The coalition argues that several provisions of Indiana’s laws place an undue burden on the ability of individuals to exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability.
“Indiana’s abortion restrictions are a clear attempt to make it more difficult for providers to provide abortion care and harder for those seeking the care to receive it,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Our response is also clear: Abortion care is healthcare, and we will continue to push back against laws that place an undue burden on or completely prevent Californians who travel to, study, or work in other states, from exercising their constitutional right to choose.”
For decades, Indiana has enacted multiple restrictions that have made it increasingly burdensome for an individual to obtain abortion care. These laws require patients to undergo redundant and medically unnecessary procedures and, when considered in the context of Indiana’s web of restrictive laws, impose licensure, facility, and personnel requirements on abortion providers that put up substantial obstacles to abortion access.
In today’s brief, the coalition argues Indiana has systematically chipped away at the right to abortion and delayed access to basic reproductive healthcare. These limitations disproportionately impact low-income individuals who now find it more difficult to afford care, and to make travel and child care arrangements or take time off to receive care from far-flung locations.
While Indiana has sought to restrict access to reproductive healthcare, many states, including California, have expanded access to safe abortion care through the use of telemedicine. In California, individuals are allowed to have telehealth visits with their healthcare providers before being prescribed abortion medication. These visits are authorized only when the healthcare provider determines telehealth to be an appropriate option that is consistent with the standards of care. The patient’s prescription may then be mailed to them under the supervision of a certified provider. This practice has helped limit COVID-19 transmission by eliminating unnecessary in-person appointments.
Attorney General Bonta will continue to defend reproductive rights and challenge laws that unlawfully infringe upon reproductive freedom.
- In October, Attorney General Bonta took action against Senate Bill 8 – Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban – by joining an amicus brief in support of the federal government’s and abortion providers’ challenges of the law and urging the U.S. Supreme Court to restore an injunction barring enforcement of the law.
- In September, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate amicus brief, filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, concerning Mississippi’s ban on pre-viability abortions. The Court will hear arguments in the case on December 1, 2021.
- In the same month, Attorney General Bonta joined a multistate coalition in filing an amicus brief in Planned Parenthood v. Wilson – a case challenging South Carolina’s unconstitutional abortion ban.
- In July, Attorney General Bonta co-led a coalition of state attorneys general in submitting a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supporting their reversal of the Trump Administration’s 2019 Separate Abortion Billing Rule that violated Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act.
- In May, Attorney General Bonta co-led a coalition in expressing support for and offering suggested revisions to HHS’s Proposed Rule that undid the Trump-Pence Administration’s harmful 2019 Title X Rule. The now final Rule rectified many of the harms the 2019 Rule caused women, including allowing Title X clinics to provide a referral for an abortion, if requested by the patient, and removing the required physical separation of Title X funded services from abortion care.
In filing today’s amicus brief, Attorney General Bonta joined the attorneys general of Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the brief is available here.