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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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January 28, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL OPPOSES RESTRICTIVE ABORTION LAWS

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in leading a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief contesting the constitutionality of several recently enacted abortion bans in Missouri.

Raoul and the coalition filed the brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Reproductive Health Services v. Planned Parenthood of St. Louis. In the case, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis sought to enjoin enforcement of two state laws that would significantly curtail women’s rights and create barriers to safe and legal abortion. Raoul and the attorneys general argue that these laws are unconstitutional restrictions on women’s right to choose.

“Missouri’s attempt to restrict its residents’ access to safe and legal abortion services is unconstitutional and denies women access to important medical services in their own state,” Raoul said. “Women have the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”

Missouri recently enacted a number of anti-choice laws meant to deny women access to abortion care in the state. These laws include a so-called “Reason Ban” that prohibits abortion at any stage of pregnancy if the provider “knows” that the patient’s decision to terminate is based on a Downs syndrome diagnosis, sex, or race, as well as several “Gestational Age Bans” that make it a felony for physicians to perform abortions at or after 8, 14, 18, and 20 weeks. These laws would ban abortions before the stage of viability recognized by the Supreme Court and in some cases before women even know they are pregnant.

In August 2019, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis secured a preliminary injunction in the district court halting Missouri’s attempt to criminalize performing abortions. After the State of Missouri appealed the decision, the court issued an additional order prohibiting the state from enforcing the Reason Ban, which Missouri also appealed. Raoul and the coalition argue that the law is unconstitutional, does not promote women’s healthcare and denies women access to safe, legal abortions.

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

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