Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a friend-of-the-court brief co-authored by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, Jr. in the United States Supreme Court in June Medical Services v. Gee, which involves a legal challenge to Louisiana’s requirement that abortion doctors maintain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Ten other states joined Texas and Indiana on the amicus brief. The brief supports Louisiana’s conditional cross-petition, which argues that if the Supreme Court hears the challenge to the admitting-privileges requirement, it should also consider whether abortion clinics have standing to bring lawsuits on behalf of their patients.
Normally, a person filing a lawsuit must represent their own legal rights and interests and may not sue on behalf of another unless they have a close relationship and their interests are the same. Abortion clinics throughout the country, however, have filed suits “on behalf of” patients in order to eliminate health-and-safety regulations, such as requirements that clinics be licensed, pass health inspections, maintain sufficient staff, sterilize equipment, and have functioning plumbing systems. In the brief, the States describe how abortion providers claim to act as a representative of their patients in these lawsuits, but offer no evidence of what their patients want and continually argue against laws that protect patients’ well-being.
“Abortion clinics—claiming to represent women—have repeatedly filed suits challenging state abortion laws. But what these clinics are arguing for is entirely contrary to their patients’ interests,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Refusing to maintain basic health-and-safety standards contributes only to the clinic’s financial interest, not to the well-being of their patients. Their patients, like anyone else, would obviously prefer safe, regulated, and competent doctors and facilities.”
View a copy of the brief here.