- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Mississippi’s Unconstitutional Abortion Ban
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today joined 24 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold well-established precedent protecting a woman’s right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and to overturn Mississippi’s illegal 15-week abortion ban.
In a brief filed today, the coalition describes how the Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade recognized almost 50 years ago that the Constitution does not permit states to prohibit a woman from deciding whether to carry her pregnancy, a holding the Court has repeatedly reaffirmed, including in the landmark ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey almost 30 years ago. The coalition argues that Mississippi’s ban is unconstitutional under settled law, and that as such, the Court should continue to uphold this well-established Constitutional right and precedent.
“Illegal abortion bans like Mississippi’s are dangerous, rob people of their constitutionally protected rights, and put the lives of millions of Americans at risk,” AG Healey said. “With our colleagues across the country, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our residents and ensuring that people can access the care they need.”
In March 2018, the governor of Mississippi signed into law what was then the strictest abortion ban in the country. Since then, 16 states have enacted pre-viability abortion bans, with 10 doing so just this year. Mississippi’s 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, and Mississippi then sought review in the Supreme Court.
Mississippi’s attempt to undo decades of Supreme Court precedent comes amidst years of attempts by other states to end abortion access in this country, including Texas’ six-week abortion ban – which went into effect earlier this month and is the most extreme ban to date. Last week, AG Healey led a coalition of 24 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of the United States Department of Justice’s challenge to Texas’ illegal law.
AG Healey is committed to defending the constitutionally protected right of Massachusetts residents to access reproductive health care, whether they are in Massachusetts, or working, travelling, or attending school in other states. She has been at the forefront of this issue and will continue to stand with residents, health care workers and advocates in protecting access to this essential care.
Joining AG Healey in filing today’s brief with the Supreme Court are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia.