Attorney General Tong Joins Coalition Opposing Mississippi's Effort to Overturn Aspects of Roe v. Wade(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 24 state attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its precedents protecting a woman’s pre-viability right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
In an amicus brief filed with the Court, the coalition argues that Mississippi’s pre-viability abortion ban is unconstitutional and should remain unconstitutional. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the Constitution does not permit States to prohibit a woman from deciding before viability whether to carry her pregnancy to term. That ruling was affirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 and reaffirmed in the following decades. In today’s brief, the coalition argues that Mississippi’s ban is unconstitutional under settled law, and that the Court should continue to uphold this well-established precedent.
“We are witnessing an attack on the reproductive freedom of women, people and patients across the United States. Abortion is health care and there is no room for politics when it comes to the right to access safe reproductive health care. Mississippi’s abortion ban is unconstitutional, and it must be struck down,” Attorney General Tong said. “I stand ready to do whatever I can to protect a person's right to choose no matter where they live or who they are.”
In March 2018, the governor of Mississippi signed into law what was then the strictest abortion ban in the Nation. The law prohibits abortion at 15 weeks, with few exceptions, even in cases of rape or incest. A federal district court judge struck down the law stating that Mississippi “chose to pass a law it knew was unconstitutional...to ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling.
Mississippi’s attempt to undo decades of Supreme Court precedent comes amidst years of attempts by other states to strip Americans of their right to decide what is best for their bodies and futures. This year alone, 10 states have enacted bans on pre-viability abortions. In total, 16 states have now enacted pre-viability abortion bans.
Attorney General Tong is committed to defending reproductive rights for people across America women, including the very personal decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy. 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.
In filing the brief, Attorney General Tong joined the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia.