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Herring fights back against Texas abortion ban

mark herring
Mark Herring

A coalition of 24 attorneys general has filed an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Department of Justice challenge to Texas’ new six-week ban on abortions.

Attorney General Mark Herring’s brief specifically supports DOJ’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the law, that went into effect earlier this month.

Last week, Herring led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing a similar amicus brief in Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Wilson arguing that South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban harms women’s healthcare and a lower court’s ruling blocking the law should be upheld.

“The Texas abortion ban is not only unconstitutional, it’s just plain wrong. This law was explicitly written to try and circumvent any kind of judicial review, but my colleagues and I will not let that happen – S.B. 8 will see its day in court,” Herring said. “A woman’s constitutional right to choose what she does with her own body is under attack across this country. As long as I am attorney general, I will do everything in my power to fight back against this alarming wave of abortion restrictions and protect a person’s constitutional right to an abortion.”

Herring’s brief, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, argues that by banning all pre-viability abortions within Texas’ borders, the law, Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8), violates nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability.

The brief also contends that the Texas legislature sought to circumvent prior Supreme Court rulings and prevent judicial review of the law by delegating enforcement authority to private individuals instead of the government and, as such, S.B. 8 is an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” and the rule of law.