BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has joined a multi-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in support of the plaintiffs in “Little Rock Family Planning Services v. Leslie Rutledge,” a lawsuit that seeks to protect a woman’s right to “abortion care.”
The multi-state coalition supports the last surgical abortion clinic in Arkansas in its challenge to four state laws that would restrict women’s access to abortions by banning them after 18 weeks and otherwise restricting women’s access to reproductive care.
“The Arkansas laws put women’s health and safety at risk,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Chipping away at abortion services by placing burdensome restrictions on providers will not stop abortions from taking place; it will just make them more dangerous.”
In the brief, the coalition argues that the Arkansas laws violate women’s constitutional right to choose under “Roe v. Wade.” The coalition further argues that limiting or eliminating women’s access to abortions leads to worse health and socioeconomic outcomes for women.
In 2019, the Arkansas state legislature passed several laws intended to restrict access to abortion services. The laws would criminalize abortions performed after 18 weeks. Plaintiffs argue that Arkansas laws would make abortion care either unavailable or less safe for women.
On July 28, 2019, the U.S. District Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction, which temporarily blocked the Arkansas laws restricting abortion care. Arkansas appealed the decision to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth District shortly thereafter.
Joining Maryland in filing Thursday’s brief were the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.