Attorney General Xavier Becerra Files Brief Defending Women’s Access to Constitutionally-Protected Health Care

Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of states, filed an amicus brief yesterday afternoon in West Alabama Women’s Center v. Dr. Thomas Miller, a case currently pending before the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals. At issue is an Alabama law which threatens a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion. The brief makes clear that restricting a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare to favor practices that are not medically-proven endangers the health and safety of all women and should be rejected.

“A woman, not politicians, should decide in consultation with her doctor what is in her best interest when it comes to her own health,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Every woman in America has a constitutional right to reproductive healthcare, no matter where she lives.” 

Specifically, the Alabama law in question criminalizes and effectively bans the safest and most common method of second trimester abortion. The West Alabama Women's Center challenged the law and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama recently ruled that it was unconstitutional, finding it “would likely place substantial, and even insurmountable, obstacles before Alabama women." The state of Alabama has appealed that ruling and today's amicus brief supports the federal district court's decision. 

Attorney General Becerra has a record as a policy-maker and now California's chief law enforcement officer of defending the constitutional rights of all people, including the reproductive rights of women. He recently filed a brief in the case Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio et al v. Hodges to challenge an Ohio law that excludes qualified healthcare providers which offer services to women, including abortion services, from participating in publicly-funded healthcare programs unrelated to abortion – including breast and cervical cancer prevention programs. 

Joining Attorney General Becerra on today's brief are the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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PDF icon W. Ala. CA Multistate Amicus.pdf1.13 MB