Texas AG argues women are 'stimulating' interstate commerce for out-of-state abortions in pushback against DOJ litigation
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) is pushing back against the U.S. Department of Justice's litigation challenging the Lone Star state's anti-abortion law, which aims to discourage doctors and abortion providers from performing abortion procedures after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
In legal briefs filed on Wednesday, September 29, Paxton claimed the DOJ did not point out any "actual evidence that the Texas Heartbeat Act burdens interstate commerce." To defend the state's law, Paxton focused on the increase in Texas women taking trips out of state to obtain abortions. In short, Paxton argues that the new anti-abortion law has encouraged women to travel outside of the state to get the procedure.
"What evidence that does exist in the record suggests that, if anything, the Act is stimulating rather than obstructing interstate travel," Paxton said, as he claimed there has been an influx of Texas women specifically seeking to travel to Kansas and Oklahoma to undergo abortions.
An earlier court filing also includes remarks from a representative for the abortion provider Trust Women, which has locations in both Kansas and Oklahoma. Speaking to the courts, the clinic organization's leader claimed both clinic locations have seen an uptick in call volume with many of the latest calls coming from Texas residents.
"About two-thirds of our [Oklahoma City clinic] patient appointment calls now come from Texas patients seeking abortions that are unavailable throughout their home state," the leader of the abortion provider stated. Back in 2019, the abortion clinic reportedly recorded only 25 abortion patients that had traveled from Texas for abortion procedures. However, now the provider claims "approximately half of the calls" to its Wichita, Kan., office are coming from Texas.
The latest Justice Department lawsuit is just one of many that have been filed in federal and state courts to challenge the new abortion law.
Per CNN: Paxton also "emphasized in the new briefs that as the law was written, federal courts have no jurisdiction to hear the dispute and he rejected arguments made by the Justice Department that the individuals who are able to bring civil suits are acting as 'agents' of the state."
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