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AG Nessel Joins Multistate Coalition Condemning Texas Supreme Court Decision Upholding the State’s Dangerous Abortion Ban
December 14, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and a coalition of 12 attorneys general released the following statement after the Texas Supreme Court denied abortion access to Kate Cox, a pregnant woman whose health and life were at risk as a result of a fatal fetal diagnosis. Ms. Cox was forced to travel out of state to receive abortion care.
“No one should be forced to fight in court and leave their home state just to receive the health care they need. As this case shows, abortion bans pose dangerous health and safety threats wherever they are enacted. Decisions about abortion care should be made between patients and their doctors, not politicians. We will continue to fight to ensure everyone has the freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”
On December 8th, the Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed Ms. Cox to obtain an abortion under the exception to the state’s ban permitting abortions for pregnancies posing a risk to the pregnant person’s life. On December 11th, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision, preventing Ms. Cox from seeking an abortion, even though she had learned that her fetus had a fatal genetic condition and her doctor had testified that continuing to carry the pregnancy would jeopardize her life, health, and future fertility. The court found the legislative exception to Texas’s abortion bans did not encompass Ms. Cox’s condition because she had not shown it was sufficiently “life-threatening.”
This statement is AG Nessel’s most recent action to protect abortion rights. In addition to opposing Texas’ anti-abortion laws, Nessel has joined amicus briefs opposing abortion bans in Idaho and Indiana. She has also joined coalitions seeking to preserve access to medication abortion nationwide.
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, triggering Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban statute to go into effect, Nessel made it clear that she would not use the resources of her office to defend the statute, which criminalized abortion. She called for the repeal of the 1931 abortion law and in March of this year, the Michigan Legislature voted to do just that. Nessel also filed a brief in support of placing abortion access on the November 2022 ballot. Once on the ballot, Proposal 3 passed with the support of 57 percent of Michigan voters, enshrining abortion rights into Michigan’s constitution.
In November of this year, Right to Life of Michigan, along with Republican lawmakers and others opposed to Michiganders’ rights to abortion, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to invalidate and enjoin Section 28 of Article 1 of the Michigan Constitution, which became the law following the passage of Proposal 3. The lawsuit names Nessel, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as defendants and seeks to overturn the will of the People of Michigan.
In overturning Roe, the Supreme Court gave states the right to decide whether and how to regulate abortion. The People of Michigan responded by overwhelmingly voting to enshrine reproductive freedoms, including the right to an abortion, in our state Constitution.
Joining AG Nessel in condemning the Texas Supreme Court’s decision are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, and Vermont.