ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL URGES U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HALT UNCONSTITUTIONAL TEXAS ABORTION BAN
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstitute an injunction barring enforcement of Texas’ unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 8 (SB 8).
The amicus brief, filed with the Supreme Court in the case of United States of America v. State of Texas et al., supports the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) challenge to SB 8. The brief calls on the court to prevent Texas from openly disregarding nearly a half century of precedent with SB 8, an across-the-board ban that flouts the Constitution. The brief asks the court to stop Texas’ abortion ban by vacating the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay of a district court order blocking the ban from going into effect.
“For decades, the Supreme Court has upheld the principle that women have the right to make their own reproductive health decisions,” Raoul said. “Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban blatantly ignores that precedent and, more importantly, threatens the safety and well-being of women. I urge the court to adhere to its precedent and halt Senate Bill 8 so that women can maintain control over their own reproductive health and abortion decisions.”
According to the brief, SB 8 not only imposes a ban on almost all abortions in Texas in open disregard of the Supreme Court’s precedent, but also attempts to thwart judicial review and insulate Texas from accountability by purporting to create a private enforcement scheme. Texas created a structure within its state court system that requires courts to award at least $10,000 as well as injunctive relief to claimants who bring cases against providers and those who “aid or abet” constitutionally-protected abortion care. As such, the law threatens potential liability for anyone who so much as gives a patient a ride to an abortion provider.
In accordance with the ban, providers in Texas have largely stopped providing abortion care to their patients. This has affected not only patients in Texas, but clinics and patients across the country, including in Illinois. Raoul and the coalition argue that most patients must now travel out of state, which makes abortion for many people too difficult, too time-intensive, and too costly. The attorneys general further assert that many patients will now be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, resulting in negative health and socioeconomic consequences for both patients and their children. Additionally, the coalition argues that as people are forced to seek care elsewhere, many providers are overwhelmed, threatening patients’ access to care.
Joining Raoul in the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.