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October 4, 2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES BRIEF TO PROTECT WOMEN’S ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

AG Raoul, 19 Attorneys General Argue Mississippi Abortion Law Violates Constitution

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general, today filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in support of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. v. State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health case.

In the brief filed in the 5th Circuit, Raoul and the attorneys general argue that a Mississippi law enacted in March, which makes it a criminal offense to perform an abortion once a heartbeat is detected, constitutes a near-complete ban on abortion. The coalition argues that the law limits the period during which a woman could receive a legal abortion to six weeks, when most women do not even know they are pregnant. Raoul and the coalition assert that the law prohibits women from exercising their constitutional right to control their reproductive health under Roe v. Wade.

“Obstructing access to safe, legal abortion does more than just infringe on women’s rights to control their health care; it can also have significant health or life-threatening consequences,” Raoul said. “I will continue to defend a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions.

Raoul and the coalition argue that contrary to Mississippi’s claims, limiting or eliminating women’s access to safe and legal abortion leads to worse health and socioeconomic outcomes. Outcomes include forcing women to endure negative pregnancy side effects, limited physical activity, restrictions from fulltime employment, and increased reliance on publicly-funded safety net programs. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition describe the different ways that states promote women’s health without impeding women’s rights upheld by the constitution.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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