Following the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s restrictive abortion ban, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) has vowed to fight and make sure that every woman in the state has access to safe reproductive health care.
Herring believes there’s potential to overturn landmark cases Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.
Together with governors Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, Herring has been a steady advocate for Virginia women on the topic of reproductive justice. The trio has campaigned on female reproductive freedom and legally defended women access to comprehensive healthcare services, including abortion and contraception.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to necessitate this case is incredibly concerning and has the potential to overturn landmark abortion rights cases, especially given the incredibly conservative makeup of the Court.
For over 50 years, Roe v. Wade has protected a woman’s right to creating the simplest health care decisions for her body and overturning it might send this country back decades and have dangerous and potentially deadly consequences for women’s health across the country,” asserted Herring.
In support of Jackson Women’s Health Organization -Mississippi’s last abortion clinic – Herring filed an amicus brief during the lawsuit in October 2019.
He argued that the law restricts women from exercising their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy under Roe v. Wade with a near-total ban on abortion. This, he said, would end in worse maternal health outcomes.
Mississippi’s law limits the period of time when a woman can get an abortion, making it illegal after just 15 weeks.
Having campaigned on a promise during the 2013 elections, Herring reversed legal advice from his predecessor Ken Cuccinelli (R) on clearing the way for new regulations.
Cuccinelli had closed a minimum of one women’s health clinic and threatened the closure of more.
Herring went ahead to issue an opinion. The opinion concluded that similar bans on abortion were unconstitutional, joining the Virginia Board of Health protected women’s health clinics from attacks that might have closed many Virginia clinics that provide abortion services.
Abortion which is constitutional within the US drove Herring to successfully fight alongside his colleagues in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to prevail over Texas’s onerous, targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP).
Herring, who also led a multi-state coalition defending access to healthcare on the Affordable Care Act Exchanges, says he plans to not stop fighting to make sure that each woman in Virginia has access to safe reproductive health care.