Coronavirus in New York: Letitia James leads fight to stop Texas abortion ban
New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading a coalition to stop Texas from blocking abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, her office announced Friday.
Earlier this week, Texas issued a directive banning all non-emergency surgeries and procedures, including abortions, to free up resources.
“Texas and other states are using the coronavirus as an excuse to deny women their constitutional right to an abortion,” James said in a statement. “This is a full-on assault on women’s reproductive rights not only in Texas, but across the country, and I will not allow any state to usurp the rights of women enshrined in the Constitution.”
The AG said she’d be leading a coalition of attorneys general across the U.S. to prevent Texas and other states who “use the coronavirus as a veiled assault on women’s reproductive freedoms.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and other organizations sued the state of Texas in federal court, calling for an immediate restraining order to halt the ban.
James’s coalition intends to file court papers, known as an amicus brief, to bolster the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. An amicus brief allows non-parties to join a lawsuit if they have an interest in the outcome.
“According to news reports, women in Texas have already been turned away when seeking an abortion because of the directive,” according to the AG’s statement.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued the executive order backed by the state’s Attorney General Ken Paxton last Saturday.
Paxton said in a press release that the directive is intended to free up health care resources, including medical staff, hospital beds and surgical masks, to fight the pandemic.
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