Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Wednesday that he joined a coalition of 23 other state attorneys general to file an amicus brief in federal court in support of the United States Justice Department’s challenge to a recently enacted abortion restriction law in Texas.
The brief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, supports DOJ’s request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of the law, which went into effect Sept. 1 and prohibits abortions in Texas after about six weeks of pregnancy — which is often before people know they are pregnant.
The bill is among the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. In addition to banning virtually all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, it also allows everyday people to sue those suspected in “aiding and abetting” abortions after six weeks for up to $10,000, the Washington Post reported. The pregnant person themselves could not be sued, but rather the health care provider who performs the procedure or even the person who drove them to the clinic.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, refused to block the law from taking effect earlier this month — leaving open the opportunity for other states to implement similar laws.
In the 27-page brief, Kaul and other attorneys general wrote that the Texas legislation “represents a new and dangerous frontier in the quest by some state legislatures to restrict or eliminate abortion access in violation of well-established law.”
“At its core, (the law) is an across-the-board ban on almost all abortions in the state of Texas, in open and purposeful disregard of” prior court rulings, the attorneys general wrote.
Further, the group wrote, “Such an unprecedented attack on our constitutional order and the rule of law must be unequivocally rejected.”
Kaul, a Democrat, said in a statement that the Texas law “drastically restricts reproductive freedom and relies on a disturbing and likely unworkable bounty system to enforce it.”
“This unconstitutional law treats the rule of law like a game and, if left in effect, will not only violate the rights of women in Texas but also spur harmful copycat legislation that would further infringe upon reproductive freedom,” he said. “This law must be struck down.”
The attorneys general of neighboring Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota were among the group who co-filed the brief with Kaul.
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