Attorney General Tong joins multi-state coalition advocating for right to travel interstate for abortion
Amicus brief argues Texas laws violate individuals’ constitutional right to interstate travel
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong has joined a multi-state coalition of 21 attorneys general submitting an amicus brief in Fund Texas Choice v. Paxton to protect the right of individuals to travel outside of Texas to obtain an abortion. The multistate amicus brief was submitted in support of a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by reproductive rights advocates seeking to suspend enforcement of several Texas anti-abortion laws. In the amicus brief, the coalition argues that Texas residents as well as coalition state residents temporarily in Texas for school, work or vacation, have the right to travel to favorable states reproductive rights to access legal abortions.
“Texas passed draconian anti-abortion laws to criminalize the personal and professional choices of women, patients, and healthcare providers. These laws, which would prevent people — under threat of lawsuits and financial ruin — from leaving Texas for states that support choice and reproductive freedom, blatantly violate the right to interstate travel. Our Constitution gives us the right to cross state lines for work, health care, school, or any number of choices and actions we take as free people every day. Texas can’t change that.” said Attorney General Tong.
The lawsuit was brought by the Texas Fund reproductive groups Texas Choice, Jane’s Due Process, the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Clinic Access Support Network, The Afiya Center, West Fund and OB-GYN Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi. In the petition, Dr. Moayedi explains that she seeks to travel to provide abortion services in states where her medical services are legal, and the other plaintiffs seek to travel to support people in Texas who want to access health care. reproduction in states where legal. . But they fear financial ruin or lawsuits for traveling to help people seeking legal abortions because of Texas anti-abortion laws.
In the amicus brief, the coalition says an individual’s constitutional right to interstate travel is threatened because of Texas anti-abortion laws, and that interference with that right poses a substantial threat to liberty. and the safety of these people, some of whom may need to leave Texas in urgent circumstances. Texas anti-abortion laws not only deny Texas residents access to the reproductive care they need within Texas borders, but Texas lawmakers have indicated they also seek to prevent a person to cross state lines to obtain an abortion, to provide an abortion, or to support a patient in need of an abortion.
The coalition states argue that while Texas can regulate abortion within its borders, infringing on the right to interstate travel, including for abortion, is illegal. Coalition states have a vested interest in preserving the right to interstate travel. Thousands of residents of coalition states live in Texas to attend college, pursue higher education, or serve as temporary workers; millions more enter Texas as visitors each year. The coalition has a strong interest in ensuring that these residents can leave Texas and return to their home state to access urgent, legal, and safe medical care, including abortions.
The coalition has a vested interest in preserving the right of Texas providers to travel to coalition states to provide abortion services or to accompany a patient in need of abortion care. As states that are committed to protecting access to reproductive health care, coalition states have a strong interest in preserving the right to travel for the millions of people living in states where abortion are restrictive and for whom traveling to have an abortion is essential. Texas anti-abortion laws – and threats by Texas lawmakers to use those laws to restrict travel outside their state’s borders – pose a significant threat to the liberty and safety of people who may need to leave the Texas for urgent reproductive care.
In submitting the amicus brief, Attorney General Tong joins the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada , New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania. , Rhode Island, Washington and Washington, D.C.
A copy of the amicus brief is available here.
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