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Hawai‘i AG Joins Multistate Amicus Brief to Protect Women’s Reproductive Rights

April 15, 2019, 12:13 PM HST (Updated April 15, 2019, 12:13 PM)
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Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare E. Connors joined a coalition of 21 Attorneys General on Friday, April 12, 2019, in filing a brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, supporting Mississippi’s last abortion clinic in Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al. v. State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al.

Hawai‘i Attorney General Clare E. Conners

The case challenges House Bill 1510, which prohibits doctors from providing abortion services past 15 weeks. The coalition, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argues that state laws cannot prohibit a woman from her constitutionally protected right to terminate her pregnancy before viability under Roe v. Wade. The amici states argue the banning of abortions after 15 weeks flatly forbids women from exercising their right to choose pre-viability abortion.

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“Mississippi’s legislation is unconstitutional, and interferes with the relationship between doctors and patients,” said Attorney General Connors. “We joined in this brief because Hawai‘i is committed to protect this relationship and the ability of women to make decisions about their bodies.”

In March 2018, Mississippi enacted House Bill 1510. House Bill 1510 places a ban on abortion services after the 15th week of pregnancy. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, as the sole abortion provider in Mississippi, filed suit challenging the ban and requesting a temporary restraining order. The plaintiffs named as defendants the state officers responsible for overseeing public health. On Nov. 20, 2018, the district court granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs and issued a permanent injunction. The court held that the proposed state law violated women’s right to due process under the 14th Amendment.

Joining Attorney General Connors in filing the brief are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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