Governor Abbott Leads Bipartisan, Ten-State Coalition Of Governors In Filing Amicus Brief In Support

February 3, 2016 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today led a bipartisan, ten-state coalition of Governors in filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Texas' House Bill 2. The law, passed by the 83rd legislature, raises the standard of care at abortion clinics by ensuring that the physician who performs an abortion is sufficiently credentialed to obtain admitting privileges and by requiring abortion clinics to raise their safety standards.

“The Governors have a substantial interest in enforcing and defending laws aimed at improving health outcomes for women seeking abortions,” reads the brief. “Many States have enacted laws like House Bill 2 to improve the standard of care at abortion clinics, particularly at less-reputable clinics that operate at the margins of medical practice. As the chief executives of their States, the Governors also supervise executive agencies that regulate the safety of abortion clinics.  As such, [we] are in a unique position to report on the safety violations that certain abortion clinics have accrued and on the dangers those violations pose for women’s health.”

The brief goes on to point out that “by ensuring that doctors are affiliated with local hospitals and by improving safety standards at clinics, HB2 aligns abortion clinics more closely with mainstream medical practice.  Neither state regulators nor women seeking abortions stand to gain anything whatsoever from an abortion industry that practices medicine from the shadows.”

The following Governors joined Governor Abbott in filing this brief:

Robert Bentley
Governor of Alabama

Asa Hutchinson
Governor of Arkansas

Terry E. Branstad
Governor of Iowa

Matthew G. Bevin
Governor of Kentucky

John Bel Edwards
Governor of Louisiana

Paul R. Lepage
Governor of Maine

Phil Bryant
Governor of Mississippi

Pete Ricketts
Governor of Nebraska

Dennis M. Daugaard
Governor of South Dakota