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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


~ On Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt ~

RICHMOND(June 27, 2016)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision today in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The Court found that certain restrictions imposed on abortion clinics by the state of Texas were medically unnecessary and created an unconstitutional burden on women. Attorney General Herring joined an amicus brief on the prevailing side arguing that the Texas restrictions placed an "undue burden" on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy in violation of the Supreme Court's ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.


"Today's decision should help put a stop to the recent wave of state-level, medically unnecessary TRAP laws designed to scare, shame, or bar women from making their own healthcare decisions. The Court was under no illusions about the true intention of these laws, and Virginians should not be either. I joined my colleagues in opposing Texas' restrictions because I believe that a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions must exist in practice, not just in theory."


Attorney General Herring issued an official opinion to the Virginia Health Commissioner in May 2015 that corrected erroneous legal advice provided by his predecessor and clarified that the Board of Health did not and does not have the authority to impose expensive, unnecessary, burdensome design and construction standards on preexisting healthcare facilities that perform abortions. The Board has subsequently proposed and drafted changes to its regulations governing these facilities.


During his term, Attorney General Herring has written amicus briefs in the circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court successfully arguing for marriage equality, Virginians' right to access affordable healthcare, and the Commonwealth's right to work cooperatively with state and federal partners to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. He has also joined briefs successfully arguing for the constitutionality of nonpartisan redistricting, protecting the one-person, one-vote principle, fighting housing discrimination, giving colleges and universities tools to build inclusive student bodies, and more.


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