AG Shapiro and others file brief asking Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law

National News

HARRISBURG — On Wednesday, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with 24 attorneys general, urged the United States Supreme Court to stop Texas’ abortion ban — Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8) — by vacating the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ stay of a District Court order.

“The Texas abortion ban is dangerous and extreme,” said AG Shapiro. “Every woman in America must have access to the reproductive health care they need, and we will always stand up to protect that right.”

The amicus brief, filed with the Supreme Court in the cases of United States v. Texas. and Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson, supports the challenges initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice and abortion providers and calls on the Court not to allow Texas to continue the ban.

As the brief explains, 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 block judicial review, insulating the Lone Star State from accountability.

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 states like California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma. In New Mexico, in particular, an influx of patients from Texas has already strained provider resources and made it more difficult for New Mexico residents to receive timely care.

The brief states: “Most patients now must travel out of state, which makes abortion for many people too difficult, too time-intensive, and too costly. 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.”

Aside from a district-ordered pause that lasted 48 hours, the law has been in effect since September, banning abortions once cardiac activity is detected. This usually happens around six weeks, before some women know they are pregnant.

Along with Pennsylvania, joining the Massachusetts-led brief are the attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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