AG Tong Joins Amicus Brief Fighting for TX Patients at Risk by Anti-Abortion Laws

Attorney General William Tong this week joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in an amicus brief fighting for access to emergency care for Texas patients.

William Tong

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong at a rally for reproductive rights in May 2019 at Stamford Government Center where he warned, “There are forces in Washington and in the White House and in this country – not just in Alabama or Georgia – but yes, here in Connecticut, powerful forces who want to dismantle a system of healthcare for American women and all American families.” Photo: Leslie Yager

The multistate coalition filed an amicus brief in the Texas Supreme Court backing the plaintiffs in Zurawski v Texas.

A release from AG Tong’s office said the plaintiffs in the lawsuit include 15 Texas women whose health, fertility, and lives were put at risk by Texas’s draconian anti-abortion laws.

In the amicus brief, the multistate coalition supported the women’s argument that Texas’s laws endanger the lives and health of pregnant people in the state.

The coalition further argued that Texas’s laws would also have serious repercussions for the health systems of other states.

“We cannot have politicians micromanaging life and death decisions around emergency medical care for pregnant women,” said Attorney General Tong in the release.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Texas state court on March 6, and sought to clarify the scope of Texas’s medical emergency exception under its state abortion laws.

On August 4, the court issued an order temporarily blocking the application of Texas’s abortion ban in cases of an “emergent medical condition.”

Now, Texas is appealing the court’s decision to the state’s supreme court.

The amicus brief by the multistate coalition backs the plaintiffs’ case, arguing that:

  • Preventing medical providers from performing abortions needed to treat emergency medical conditions threatens the health and lives of pregnant patients. Many pregnancy and miscarriage complications are emergency medical conditions requiring time-sensitive stabilizing treatment that can include abortion. Any failure to provide, or delays in providing, necessary abortion care can put at risk the pregnant patient’s life or health.
  • When Texas hospitals and providers do not provide the emergency abortion care, patients are forced to turn to out-of-state hospitals and providers, adding strain to other states’ emergency departments that are already struggling with overcrowding, long wait times, and staff shortages. The added strain causes more delays and threatens the safety and health of all patients who need emergency care.

In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Tong joined the attorneys general of California, New York, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.