James joins fight to protecting access to abortion care

James assails Trump’s ban on Caribbean New Yorkers from Global Entry Program
New York State Attorney General, Letitia James.
Associated Press / Richard Drew, file

New York Attorney General Letitia James and a national coalition of 22 attorneys general on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care.

James said that despite the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, access to safe and legal abortion remains robustly protected in numerous states across the country, including in New York and the coalition states.

As highlighted by the multi-state coalition’s efforts in the amicus brief in Dobbs, the attorneys general said they will continue to fight to support the rights of pregnant people nationwide.

“Abortion care is health care. Period. We stand together, as our states’ chief law officers, to proudly say that we will not back down in the fight to protect the rights of pregnant people in our states and across the country,” they said in a statement. “While the US Supreme Court’s decision reverses nearly half a century of legal precedent and undermines the rights of people across the United States, we’re joining together to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care nationwide.

“While this is a perilous moment for our nation, it is a moment that calls for action. Our promise to our residents is simple: We’ll never stop defending your rights,” they added. “Regardless of the decision in Dobbs, broad access to abortion remains protected in states that recognize reproductive freedom, such as ours. We refuse to go back to the days of politicians trying to tell people what to do with their bodies. When it comes to abortion care, it’s your body and your right to choose. Nobody else gets to make those decisions.

“For generations, Americans have relied on the existence of a constitutional right to abortion to make deeply personal decisions about their lives, their futures, and their families,” the attorneys general continued. “As a result of the decision in Dobbs, people across the nation are now confronted with the prospect of having to travel from their homes to our states to seek access to the fundamental healthcare to which they should be entitled.”

For those unable to make the journey, they said laws banning abortion in their home states will lead to poorer health outcomes and reduced socioeconomic opportunities.

“Those harms will fall disproportionately on people of color and people with fewer resources, further perpetuating our nation’s historical inequities,” the attorneys general warned. “Ultimately, what harms people in some states harms us all. The future and wellbeing of our nation is intrinsically tied to the ability of our residents to exercise their fundamental rights, including the right to liberty, privacy, and access to abortion care.

“If you seek access to abortion and reproductive health care, we’re committed to using the full force of the law to support you. You have our word,” they pledged. “We will continue to use all legal tools at our disposal to fight for your rights and stand up for our laws. We will support our partners and service providers. We will take on those who seek to control your bodies and leverage our collective resources — thousands of lawyers and dedicated public servants across our states. Together, we will persist.”

In issuing Monday’s statement, James joined the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

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