Debevoise Files Amicus Brief in Fight Against Texas Abortion Law

12 October 2021

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 19 leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to protect the health and well-being of Texans by affirming the District Court’s injunction against SB 8 as the Justice Department’s litigation continues.

The brief argues that SB 8 violates the core principles of medical ethics and endangers the lives and well-being of women and girls of reproductive age throughout Texas by barring access to a safe and essential component of reproductive health care. The medical organizations argue that SB 8 meaningfully exacerbates inequities in healthcare and disproportionately harms the most marginalized people in Texas – including communities of color, people with low incomes, and those living in rural areas.

The brief also argues that the law forces clinicians into an untenable position of facing potentially unlimited personal and professional liability if they provide care consistent with their best medical judgment, scientific evidence, and moral and ethical duty. Additionally, it states that banning abortion dangerously prevents women from getting the care they need and results in harmful impacts including the risk of death.

The American Medical Association is the largest professional association of physicians, residents, and medical students in the United States. The objectives of the AMA are to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of public health. AMA members practice in all fields of medical specialization and in every state.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is the nation’s premier professional membership organization for obstetrician–gynecologists dedicated to the improvement of women’s health. Its activities include producing practice guidelines for providers and educational materials for patients, providing practice management and career support, facilitating programs and initiatives aimed at improving women’s health, and advocating on behalf of members and patients.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The mission of the group is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social  health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

The Debevoise team is led by litigation partner Shannon Rose Selden, counsel Anna Moody and associates Justin Ferrone and Ebony Ray.