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Attorney General William Tong

12/04/2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG JOINS COALITION FIGHTING TO ENSURE WOMEN ACROSS THE NATION RETAIN ACCESS TO SAFE, LEGAL ABORTIONS

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong today announced he has joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general fighting to ensure women across the nation are able to maintain access to safe, legal abortions. The amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court supports the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Gee. The coalition is seeking to overturn a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholding a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

"The Louisiana law has nothing to do with patient safety, and is a disingenuous attempt to unlawfully interfere with and restrict women's reproductive healthcare choices. This is not merely an attack on women in Louisiana, it is a dangerous effort to decimate legal precedent that has protected women nationwide for decades. Connecticut stands with states across the nation in aggressively protecting choice and women's health," said Attorney General Tong.

In 2014, Louisiana passed a law that requires abortion providers to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals. If the law were enforced, Louisiana would be left with, at most, two physicians who could provide abortion services in the state, despite the fact that roughly 10,000 women obtain abortions in Louisiana each year. Louisiana’s admitting-privileges requirement is identical to the Texas statute that was invalidated and found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana granted a permanent injunction against the Louisiana law, but, in 2018, the Fifth Circuit reversed that decision. June Medical Services and two physicians appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which granted an emergency application to stay the law from taking effect pending the outcome of the appeal.

The coalition of attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, filed the amicus brief because states have an interest in ensuring the availability of safe, medically sound abortion services and in protecting the health and safety of women seeking abortion services, as well as defending the long-recognized, substantive due process right to choose to terminate a pregnancy and the undue-burden standard that governs review of regulations implicating that right. In the brief, the attorneys general argue that Louisiana’s law is an unnecessary and onerous burden that fails to promote women’s health and will end up further limiting the number of abortion providers available to women in Louisiana.

Attorney General Tong joins the attorneys general of New York, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia in filing the amicus brief.

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