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Oregon joins in support of Justice Department challenge to new Texas abortion restrictions

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined 23 other attorneys general in an amicus brief supporting DOJ's challenge of the Texas law, which essentially bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Posted: Sep 15, 2021 11:26 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined 23 other attorneys general in an amicus brief supporting the US Department of Justice's challenge of a newly-minted Texas abortion law, one which essentially bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The amicus brief, filed Wednesday in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, supports the Justice Department's motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the new law.

According to Rosenblum's office, the Texas law contradicts almost 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming abortion as a constitutional right — precedent that the law seeks to circumvent by giving enforcement authority to private individuals instead of the state.

“This anti-abortion law is unequivocally unconstitutional. By turning private citizens into ‘bounty hunters’ targeting anyone, including medical professionals, who assists someone in obtaining an abortion, Texas is ignoring well-established legal rights and federal law. It is shocking that Texas would seek to skirt the constitution so blatantly, ” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “We are at a crucial moment in the fight to keep abortion accessible, safe and legal. As Oregon's attorney general, I am glad to be able to join this national fight for bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom."

In their brief, the attorneys general argue that the Texas law's private enforcement structure produces an “across-the-board ban on constitutionally protected activity,” and that private enforcement does not shield the law from judicial review. They argue that failing to grant a preliminary injunction would cause "irreparable harm" to patients and clinics both in Texas and in surrounding states.

"The law also threatens the many people who help patients in Texas obtain access to an abortion by creating more than $10,000 in potential liability for anyone who so much as gives a patient a ride to a provider or otherwise helps," Rosenblum's office said. "The states are committed to shielding their residents and clinicians from these harms when they help a patient in Texas obtain constitutionally protected care."

In addition to Oregon, the amicus brief was joined by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 4185
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55306692
Washington38321316
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Clackamas29350304
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Umatilla14286144
Linn12617120
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Josephine9292195
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Polk719680
Malheur552774
Benton537630
Coos492593
Columbia375743
Jefferson366351
Union316247
Lincoln313338
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Crook277646
Clatsop240729
Baker199228
Tillamook194929
Hood River190137
Morrow183023
Curry178723
Harney110225
Grant98012
Lake89711
Wallowa67312
Gilliam1494
Sherman1463
Wheeler1031
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CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147768626443
Riverside3704095008
San Diego3649124169
San Bernardino3574215597
Orange3234075528
Sacramento1584372283
Fresno1451192063
Santa Clara1450041895
Kern1449141615
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San Joaquin1022501721
Ventura1008011165
Contra Costa99612995
Stanislaus856421319
Tulare79513958
San Francisco54220644
San Mateo53970622
Monterey50772583
Solano45898340
Santa Barbara45005522
Merced42047579
Sonoma40822402
Placer39118420
Imperial35794764
Kings32587315
San Luis Obispo29797331
Madera23680281
Butte23649265
Shasta23544341
Santa Cruz20928218
Yolo20240248
Marin17644243
El Dorado17083149
Sutter13847172
Napa12855100
Yuba1000882
Tehama9406107
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Lassen749946
San Benito741372
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Lake6565104
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Calaveras385180
Del Norte357141
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Modoc6758
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