By Dave Andrusko
With the Biden administration relentless campaign to undermine the historic Dobbs v. Jackson front and center, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch whose state law was at issue in Dobbs is fighting back. She is leading a coalition of 19 state attorneys general that last Friday sent a comment letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra criticizing the Administration for “trying to subvert the Court’s Dobbs decision that returned important policy making to the people.”
“With the use of unlawful executive actions and blatantly false misinformation campaigns, the Administration has shown they will stop at nothing to impose a national abortion regime, regardless of the Dobbs decision, state laws, or, most importantly, the will of the people,” Fitch wrote of behalf of the 19 AGs. “We urge the Administration to respect the American people’s right to make laws related to abortion and abandon this unlawful proposal.”
The attorneys general letter focused on the blatantly “false narrative” that “States are seeking to treat pregnant women as criminals or punish medical personnel who provide lifesaving care.”
“Based on that lie,” the letter continues, “the Administration has sought to wrest control over abortion back from the people in defiance of the Constitution and Dobbs. The proposed rule here continues that effort… We urge the Administration to respect the American people’s right to make laws related to abortion and abandon this unlawful proposal.”
For over 20 years, HHS regulations have safeguarded the privacy of individual health information while permitting disclosure of information to state authorities to protect public health, safety, and welfare. The proposed rule would upset that careful, decades-old balance. The proposed rule defies the governing statute, would unlawfully interfere with States’ authority to enforce their laws, and does not serve any legitimate need. Relying as it does on a false view of state regulation of abortion, the proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem. And it reflects the same distortion of basic legal rules and democratic principles that pervaded abortion matters for decades before Dobbs.
The Department should withdraw the proposed rule.
The Attorneys General of 18 states who joined General Fitch on this comment letter include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.