14 November 2023- Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today joined a coalition of 21 Attorneys General in an amicus brief that urges access to emergency abortion for patients in Texas. This multistate coalition filed this brief in the Texas Supreme Court in support of the plaintiffs in Zurawski v. Texas, the first lawsuit brought on behalf of people denied abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
In the brief, the multistate coalition supports the plaintiffs’ argument that Texas’ laws endanger the lives and health of pregnant individuals in the state. The coalition further argues that Texas’s laws would have serious repercussions on the health systems of other states.
“Refusing access to abortion care during emergencies exposes patients to severe, potentially life-threatening complications,” said Attorney General Brown. “My commitment is to ensure all those who need this type of healthcare are able to access it promptly and safely. I will go wherever this fight takes my office. Marylanders need to be protected from a possible legal precedent as dangerous as what is being proposed in Texas.”
The lawsuit, seeking to clarify the scope of Texas’ medical emergency exception under its state abortion laws, was originally filed in Texas state court on March 6. On August 4, the court issued an order temporarily blocking the application of Texas’ abortion ban in cases of an “emergent medical condition.” Texas is now appealing the court’s decision in its State Supreme Court. Today’s brief argues 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-related 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 the pregnant patient’s life or health at risk.
- When Texas hospitals and providers fail or refuse 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. This added strain causes additional delays and threatens the safety and health of all patients who need emergency care.
In filing the brief, Attorney General Brown joins the Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.