Attorney General 2019-67 Attorney General Joins Amicus Brief to Defend Women’s Access to Safe and Legal Abortions

Posted on Oct 4, 2019 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors today joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in support of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al. v. State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al case. In the brief, the Attorneys General argue that Mississippi’s law, S.B. 2116, enacted a near-total ban on abortion by making it a criminal offense to perform one if a heartbeat is detected. This limits the period that abortion would be legal to six weeks, when most women don’t even know they are pregnant. The coalition asserts that this law restricts women from exercising their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability under Roe v. Wade. Further, they argue that contrary to Mississippi’s claims, this near-total ban would result in worse maternal health outcomes.

“This restriction operates as a near-total ban and deprives women of their constitutional rights,” said Attorney General Connors.  “Hawaii has a long-standing commitment to protecting women’s access to health care and promoting their health and well-being.”

The coalition argues that limiting or eliminating women’s access to safe and legal abortion leads to worse health and socioeconomic outcomes. These outcomes include forcing women to endure negative pregnancy side effects, the limitation of physical activity, restriction from full-time employment and increased reliance on publicly funded safety-net programs. The brief describes the different ways that states promote women’s health without impeding women’s rights upheld by the constitution.

In filing the brief, led by California Attorney General Becerra, Attorney General Connors joined the Attorneys General of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the filing can be found here.

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For more information, contact:

Krishna F. Jayaram

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

(808) 586-1284

Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @ATGHIgov