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Illinois joins amicus brief against Texas abortion ban

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Wednesday joined 23 other state attorneys general in an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a district court’s block on Texas’s abortion ban.

“Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban has endangered the lives of Texas residents and is a threat to anyone who so much as provides a patient with a ride to an abortion provider,” Raoul said. “Senate Bill 8 is unlawful, and its impact extends beyond the borders of Texas. I am urging the Supreme Court to uphold its own precedent and stop Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional law from continuing to harm residents seeking abortion care.”

The amicus brief, filed with the Supreme Court in United States of America v. State of Texas et al. and Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, calls on the court to refuse to allow Texas to evade judicial review of the ban. The court will decide whether the challenges can go forward.

SB 8 bans all abortions after six weeks, before many people know they’re pregnant. The law doesn’t depend on the state enforcing it, but gives people the right to sue people who get abortions and anyone who helps for up to $10,000. The law went into effect on Oct. 1. A federal district court did block enforcement of the law but was overruled by an appeals court just days later. The Supreme Court has granted expedited review, but did not block enforcement.

The court will hear arguments on Nov. 1.

“Just two days after the Texas abortion ban went into effect, Planned Parenthood of Illinois health centers started seeing Texas patients,”  said Brigid Leahy, senior director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, at a reproductive rights rally earlier this month.

Illinois was already a destination for people in other states seeking an abortion. Missouri has a single clinic that performs abortions and most people needing one already cross the Mississippi for care.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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