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April 12, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL FILES AMICUS BRIEF TO PROTECT WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 22 attorneys general, today filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th 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 Mississippi House Bill 1510, which prohibits doctors from providing abortion services past 15 weeks.

The amicus brief filed today by Raoul and the coalition argues that state laws cannot prohibit a woman from her constitutionally protected right to terminate her pregnancy before viability under Roe v. Wade. Raoul and the attorneys general argue the banning of abortions after 15 weeks flatly forbids women from exercising their right to choose pre-viability abortion.

“A woman’s reproductive decisions are deeply personal and should be made solely by her, her partner, and her health care provider,” Raoul said. “I will continue to work with my counterparts in other states to protect a woman’s right to control her health care.”

In March 2018, Mississippi enacted House Bill 1510. House Bill 1510 places a ban on abortion services after the 15th week of pregnancy. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the sole abortion provider in Mississippi, filed suit challenging the ban and requesting a temporary restraining order. The defendants are the state officers responsible for overseeing public health. On Nov. 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 Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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