Melanie Conklin

AG Kaul Joins Fight Against Texas Abortion Law

Kaul filed an amicus brief supporting a challenge of the new abortion ban.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - Sep 16th, 2021 01:14 pm
Support legal abortion. Photo by Charles Edward Miller. (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Support legal abortion signs. Photo by Charles Edward Miller. (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul is one of 24 attorneys general filing an amicus brief Wednesday supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s challenge of Texas’ extreme new abortion ban that starts at six weeks of pregnancy. The group of AGs seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction of the law, which deputizes citizen vigilante enforcers, making it more difficult to challenge the near-ban on abortions in that state in court.

The brief asserts that the Texas law, which took effect on Sept. 1, bans “nearly all previability abortions within Texas’s borders” as well as violating “nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability.”

The law has drawn additional scrutiny in Wisconsin as Republican gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch stated this week that she wants Wisconsin to have a similar law. “I will sign a heartbeat bill,” Kleefisch told conservative radio host Mark Belling, using the misnomer reference to a heartbeat, which is not present in the embryo that early in a pregnancy. “I have a long history of being pro-life and I will fight for every human being with a heartbeat.”

The brief takes the Texas Legislature to task for seeking to circumvent prior Supreme Court rulings and preventing judicial review of the law by delegating enforcement to private individuals rather than government, calling this an “unprecedented attack on our constitutional order” as well as “the rule of law.”

“This Texas law drastically restricts reproductive freedom and relies on a disturbing and likely unworkable bounty system to enforce it,” said Kaul in a statement. “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. This law must be struck down.”

The brief also cites evidence that the law is having a significant impact on Texas abortion clinics and clinics in nearby states are reporting an increase in calls and visits from Texas patients seeking abortions, including, according to the release, all abortion clinics in New Mexico which have been “reportedly booked for weeks.”

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, “Forcing a patient to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, the brief argues, will lead to negative health and socioeconomic consequences, including placing people who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term at greater risk of life-threatening illnesses and harming their ability to maintain full-time employment.” The Texas bill contains no exception for victims of rape or incest.

Rep. Barbara Dittrich (R-Oconomowoc) expressed her displeasure in response to Kaul with this tweet: “This is SHAMEFUL, & I will continue my fight in the WI Legislature to protect the lives of those who are tomorrows, teachers, scientists, business owners, and leaders!”

In addition to Kaul, attorneys general submitting the brief are from the states of: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Wisconsin AG Kaul fights Texas on abortion ban was originally published by the Wisconsin Examiner.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us