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November 15, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general led by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul in filing an amicus brief supporting a constitutional challenge to several Indiana laws that impose burdensome restrictions on abortion providers.
The coalition filed the brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Whole Woman's Health Alliance v. Rokita. Plaintiffs, including Whole Woman's Health Alliance, obtained an injunction enjoining the enforcement of numerous Indiana abortion laws that unduly burden access to abortion care. The defendants are now appealing that decision. In its brief, the coalition argues that the district court's ruling is consistent with Supreme Court precedent and should be upheld.
"These laws are yet another example of the blatant disregard some legislators are showing for federal precedent surrounding reproductive rights," Nessel said. "Outlawing or restricting access to abortion services will not prevent abortions. We, as elected officials, have a responsibility to oppose these laws and others like them. I will continue to fight alongside my colleagues and remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose."
Indiana's laws impose restrictions on abortion providers that are not imposed on other health care providers, including a requirement that only physicians can perform first-trimester medication abortions; a requirement that second-trimester abortions be performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center; a requirement that abortion providers make certain mandatory disclosures in-person to their patients at least 18 hours before performing abortions; and a ban on telemedicine to prescribe abortion-related medications.
Citing testimony from a seven-day district court trial, the coalition argues that the court properly ruled that these laws create an undue burden for patients, especially low-income women. The attorneys general assert that by limiting access to abortion, Indiana's laws force women to travel to seek care, thereby increasing costs and making it more difficult for people to obtain important health care services.
Joining Attorneys General Nessel and Raoul in the brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.