Attorney General Phil Weiser urges U.S. Supreme Court to halt unconstitutional Texas abortion ban
Oct. 18, 2021 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser today joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to halt Texas’ unconstitutional six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 8.
The amicus brief, filed with the Supreme Court in the case of United States of America v. State of Texas et al., supports a challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice and calls on the Court not to allow Texas to openly disregard nearly a half-century of precedent by keeping this unconstitutional ban in place within its borders. The brief urges the Court to stop the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ hold on a District Court order blocking the ban from going into effect.
“Access to reproductive healthcare and abortion services is a constitutionally protected right,” Weiser said. “These repeated attacks on women’s right to equality, which includes bodily autonomy, fly in the face of Roe v. Wade. This unconstitutional, unconscionable ban must be stopped.”
S.B. 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 only a private enforcement scheme. The law threatens people who help patients in Texas obtain access to an abortion by creating a more than $10,000 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 in Colorado and other surrounding states, where patients from Texas seek care.
“Most patients now must travel out of state, which makes abortion for many people too difficult, too time-intensive, and too costly,” the brief states. “Consequently, many will now be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, resulting in negative health and socioeconomic consequences for both them and their children. And the harms caused by S.B. 8 are rippling well beyond Texas into other states, as people are forced to seek care elsewhere, in many places overwhelming capacity and threatening our own residents’ access to care.”
Also joining today’s brief, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.