Attorney General Tong Joins Coalition Fighting Texas Abortion Ban, Vows to Fight in Every Court in Every State Where Choice is Under Attack
(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong has joined a coalition of 24 attorneys general in a court brief challenging the Texas six-week abortion ban as an unconstitutional effort to overturn nearly five decades of Supreme Court precedent. With additional states across the country seeking to impose additional barriers to safe access to reproductive healthcare, Attorney General Tong today was joined by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, advocates, and legislators in vowing to continue the fight in every court in every state where access to abortion care is under attack.
The Texas law denies access to abortion care before many are even aware they are pregnant, and delegates enforcement authority to private individuals— unleashing a system of rogue bounty hunters who can report and bring action against anyone “aiding and abetting” access to abortion.
In a brief filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in support of the U.S. Department of Justice challenge to the Texas law, the attorneys general argue that banning all pre-viability abortions violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent. The brief specifically supports DOJ’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the law, which went into effect earlier this month. The brief further contends that the Texas legislature sought to circumvent prior Supreme Court rulings and to prevent judicial review of the law by delegating enforcement authority to private individuals instead of the government and, as such, SB 8 is an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” and the rule of law.
Over the last 10 years, states have passed more than 500 laws restricting abortion access. These laws have a devastating impact on access to health care and disproportionately affect people of color, immigrant women and members of the LGBTQ community. Since taking office, Attorney General Tong has joined multistate coalitions defending access to safe reproductive healthcare in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
“There is zero room for partisan obstruction when it comes to the right to access safe reproductive healthcare. The Texas law ignores decades of Supreme Court precedent to ban abortion access long before viability. The law unleashes a draconian system of individual bounty hunters authorized to take private action against any and everyone ‘aiding and abetting’ access to abortion care. This is an unprecedented attack on women and the rule of law, but it is not the only serious threat we must fight. States have passed over 500 state laws in the past ten years alone restricting abortion access. Connecticut will fight in every court in every state to protect access to abortion care, because wherever you live, whoever you are, we all deserve access to healthcare free from political interference,” said Attorney General Tong.
“I stand with the women of Texas whose rights have been restricted, whose freedoms have been taken away, and whose families have been put at risk by these Draconian laws,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “The Governor and I support and applaud Attorney General Tong’s efforts in joining the Department of Justice and other states to take a stand and fight against this incredibly harmful legislation. Connecticut has always been a national leader in advancing women’s rights. From codifying Roe vs. Wade in 1990, to expanding upon the ruling guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose regardless of insurance coverage — we extend our welcome to the women, families and businesses of Texas to join our community and take part in all of the opportunities that Connecticut has to offer.”
"We applaud the Biden-Harris administration and the Department of Justice for taking action against the blatantly unconstitutional Texas abortion ban. This dangerous and unjust law flies in the face of 50 years of precedent and has made abortion virtually inaccessible in the state of Texas. The impact of S.B. 8 has been swift and devastating, and harming Black and Latino people, people with low incomes, immigrants, and people in rural areas, who already face immense barriers to health care,” said Gretchen Raffa, Senior Director Public Policy, Advocacy & Organizing, Planned Parenthood Southern New England. “Thank you to Attorney General Tong for cementing Connecticut's role as a leader in protecting reproductive health, rights and access by filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the DOJ challenge to the Texas abortion ban and leading the legal fight to support patients everywhere seeking access to abortion care. Planned Parenthood will never abandon our patients, and we will do everything in our power to restore and protect access to abortion across Texas and the rest of the country."
"What has happened in Texas is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it is also extremely dangerous. A threat to reproductive freedom anywhere is a threat to reproductive freedom everywhere. NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is extremely grateful for Attorney General William Tong and the coalition of state attorneys general who are standing up and fighting back for Texans and for all who need access to essential abortion care,” said Liz Gustafson, State Director for NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.