tv State Attorneys General Discuss Abortion Access CSPAN September 3, 2022 1:51pm-3:16pm EDT
phone calls texts, and tweets. ,>> california state attorney was critical of attorneys general of their handling of abortion cases in their states after roe was overturned. he was joined by some others at the conference in pittsburgh. several topics discussed including legal protections for abortion providers, state sovereignty, and the importance of down ballot election races.
sovereignty and the importance of down ballot election races. host: welcome to the panel, the aftermath of dobbs, states attorneys general and the right to protect access. i am a special assistant attorney general at the california department of justice. we are happy to have leading progressive attorneys general on the panel which will be moderated by written a jenkins. access to abortion has been under threat since the u.s. supreme court's dobbs decision which overturned roe v. wade. in today's panel, we will understand the special role attorneys general have in protecting abortion access and reproductive health care. i am privileged to introduce our panelists and will start with new york attorney general tish james, who you can see on the
screen remotely. [applause] ag james is the 67th attorney general of new york at first woman of color to hold statewide office in new york and first woman elected new york attorney general. previously, ag james was public advocate for the city of new york and the first woman of color to hold citywide office. she served as a watchdog over new york city government agencies as -- and as an advocate for vulnerable communities. her office passed a groundbreaking law that banned questions about salary history in the employment process to address the gender-wage gap. she pushed new york city's largest pension funds to divest and fought court on behalf of children and families. ag james served on the new york city council where she passed state housing act forcing landlords to improve living conditions he new york city's worst buildings. she led the oakland regional
office of the new york state attorney general's office where she investigated predatory lenders, assisted in investigations of the nypd stop and frisk policy and cracked down on deceptive business practices. she began as a public defender at the legal aid society end is a graduate of lehman college at howard university school of law. let's welcome ag james, please. [applause] next, minnesota attorney general keith ellison . sworn in as minnesota's 30th attorney general in 2019, ag allison is the first african-american and first muslim american elected to statewide office in minnesota. before becoming ag, ellison represented minnesota's fifth district in congress, where he focused on consumer, worker, environmental and civil rights protections. as ag, he championed affordable
health care, a fair economy and equal opportunity. he opposed a new rule revoking legal status for immigrants who access public assistance, created unit which focuses on investigating and prosecuting abuse of workers and wage theft as well as filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. last year, ellison and his team successfully prosecuted former police officer derek chauvin for the murder of george floyd. welcome, ag ellison. [applause] next to ag ellison we have connecticut attorney general william tong. [applause] ag tong is the 25th attorney general and first asian-american elected statewide in connecticut erie ag tong's dad connecticut. tong's priority is to protect consumers.
he took on pharmaceuticals, secured $6 billion for those affected by the opioid crisis, held exxon mobil accountable for lies regarding their role in climate change, he is a graduate of phillips academy in andover, brown university and the university of chicago law school. he practiced for 18 years as a litigator in state and federal courts and went on to serve 12 years in the connecticut house of representatives. a connecticut native, ag tong is the oldest of five children and grew up working in his family's chinese restaurant. he and his wife live in connecticut with their three children and too many pets, according to ag tong. welcome, ag tong. next to ag tong, we have california attorney general rob bonta. [applause] in 2021, ag bonta was sworn in as 35th attorney general of the
state of california, the first person of latino dissent and second asian-american to occupy the decision. he has passion for justice and fairness instilled in him by his parents, who served on the front lines of some of america's most important social justice movements. it is the reason he became a lawyer, to help write historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed. -- right historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed. he attended yale university. he has worked for environmental justice at work to further the rights of renters and working californians. he previously worked as deputy city attorney for san francisco, where he fought to protect californians from exploitation and racial profiling. he was elected in alameda county as an assembly member representing parts of oakland, alameda and san leandro. he enacted nation-leading reforms to inject more justice
and fairness into government institutions. he seeks accountability from those who would abuse their power and harm others and he is married to mia bonta. they are the proud parents of three paren -- proud parents of three children as well as their dog. welcome, ag bonta. [applause] we are fortunate to have this talented and diverse group of attorneys general. i would like to turn the discussion over to our moderator, brittany jenkins, policy director at the progressive states leadership committee and former chief of staff for congress member rashida tilly -- rashida tlaib. >> thank you, everyone for being here. a few things to keep in mind. this is being recorded and streamed.
seeds in the back of the room are set up for extra room for those who want additional space. please keep the aisles and accessibility marked spaces clear. we will start with each of the attorneys general to speak a moment about abortion access. we will kick it off with attorney general tish james. a.g. james: thank you so much. it is great to see my colleagues in government. i tried to take a few days off, which is not become a vacation. [indiscernible] it is my privilege to be with all of you. what we are seeing throughout our country is an all-out assault on women's pre-k -- reproductive rights to control
our bodies, determine our future, determine our destin ies -- determine our destin ies. these assaults are inextricably tied to one another. it is all about power. the individuals are marginalized. they are coming after our right to choose and coming out against our right to love, to organize, and our right to vote. these are five-alarm fire's. we have to see the big picture. as long as one of us is not free, none of us is free. as attorney general, about to represent the interests of those individuals and act without fear or favor and hold the powerful accountable, and to be unrelenting. i bring to the office of new
york attorney general litigation skills, but also my ability to organize, and activism as well. in response to the recent supreme court decision, we convened a task force of legal, pro bono's agent which include some of the nation's top law firms and legal reproductive organizations. the task force launched a hotline to provide legal guidance, and information about legal rights to access and provide abortion. we hope -- we help doctors who might be prosecuted for providing medical care. we help women in pregnant people who are confused about their rights and are considering dangerous alternatives for medical care. we are reaching out to
organizations that represent low-income women and women of color who face the greatest threat with respect to the overturning of roe v. wade. in new york, we will keep abortion accessible and legal. we will also accommodate anyone who comes to new york seeking an abortion. we recognize planned parenthood needs our support and resources. recently, we announced legislation to create a reproductive freedom and equity program which includes providing funds to abortion providers and organizations throughout the state of new york who face capacity issues. we had a training session recently that was provided by individuals in the reproductive space who are concerned about the reversal of roe versus
white. i reached out to a number of chambers of commerce to take a stand and positioned with respect to reproductive care. because we know that capitalism cannot operate when democracy is being threatened. it is critically important that individuals understand that the majority of workers in this country happen to be women. given roe v. wade, it is critically important that this community stand up and take a strong position. those are some of the items we have been focusing on in the state of new york, organizing individuals and groups on the ground, protecting vulnerable populations, standing up for the least of us and using the law as a sword and shield. and i will continue to do that to make sure abortion is free, accessible and safe.
[applause] britteny: thank you, attorney general. ag bonta? a.g. bonta: good afternoon everyone, rob bonta, california attorney general. my incredible colleagues are doing incredible work all across the nation. i think netroutes nation for bringing us together to highlight the work attorneys general across the country have been doing and continue to do in this space. what a journey -- what attorneys general do generally is protect your constitutional rights, civil rights, your fundamental rights, freedom and safety. that work is never been more important than it is today. when you look across the country, you see radical attorneys general doing the
opposite -- undermining safety, fundamental rights, freedom while in texas, we have been attorney general working with district attorneys to prosecute an abortion ban. in california, we issued a first-of-it's-kind legal alert -- first-of-its-kind alert indicating abortion seekers should not be prosecuted. we were working with law enforcement partners to make sure our clinics provide reproductive health care and the patients who receive it, and it is safe and accessible. in idaho, the attorney general is defending a near total ban on abortion. meanwhile, this group along with other democratic ag's have
challenged that law as being illegal. the contrast could not be sharper. the choice could not be clearer. you have attorneys general who will protect your rights, freedoms and safety, and you will have those who will undermine it and stripped those rights and protections away -- and strip those rights and protections away. we have been taking on trump-era rules and rolling them back when they restrict access to reproductive health care. we have been going to the fight wherever it is, challenging bands we believe are unconstitutional in courts across the nation. and in california, working with california legislators to enhance protections. i moved a bill to the governor's desk that requires law enforcement not to assist and cooperate with outside law enforcement agencies when they seek to prosecute providers or
patients for deceiving an abortion or -- for receiving an abortion or giving an abortion in california, where it is legal. we want to make sure patients in california know about crisis pregnancy centers and the fact that they do not provide the full range of reproductive health's including abortion. we are working with our tech platforms and health-care providers to make sure they adhered to the laws protecting the confidentiality of patients. there is a lot of important work to do. republican ag's, i believe, have failed to protect reproductive freedom. but the democratic ag's across the nation, we have not and we will use the full force of the lawful authority of our offices to make sure we protect and defend and support reproductive read them to the fullest extent.
this is a dark moment. there is no doubt about it. the prior administration had many dark moments. it wasn't one -- if it wasn't one, complete dark moment. and the democratic attorneys general stepped up and got into that fray and fought for you. and we are continuing to do that here. we will continue to be a bright light in this dark moment and in california, reproductive freedom will always be protected. and we want to work with partners across the nation to make sure that right extends to all americans. thank you. [applause] a.g. tong: thanks. i am william tong, attorney general of connecticut. let me say how grateful i am for my colleagues, rob bonta, keith ellison, tish james and all of
us across the country in this moment. as a son of immigrants growing up in my parents' chinese restaurant, i could never imagine i would sit here today. but to be here with a diverse group of attorneys general who reflect who we are as americans, we should be proud of this group and how hard we work together. and we have a lot of work to do. as ag bonta said, this is an extraordinarily serious and dangerous moment. and at the end of the supreme court's term, we saw an unprecedented attack on fundamental rights and our way of life as americans. in a few short days at the end of june, the supreme court
carpet bombed basic rights we have assumed and in some cases i fear to granted. because they were always there for us. i was born in 1973, a month before roe v. wade was decided. i have only ever lived in a world and my sister and my wife and my daughters have only lived in a world in which abortion in connecticut was safe, legal and accessible. i didn't think until it happened that that would change. i had continued to hope that that would always be the case. and then it wasn't, in an instant. and the west virginia case that did so much damage to the epa, the bruin case general james defended so strongly, the attack on new york on laws and all of our gun laws and then of course, dobbs.
one of the questions we were asked to think about was, since dobbs was decided, what have you done? what has been the most important part of what you have been doing to defend reproductive freedom? candidly, in this confusing and disoriented time, it has been important for me as attorney general to be clear, to say over and over that in connecticut, abortion is legal. period. safe, legal and accessible. and that we as a state have an obligation to enforce that law and defend people whether they live in connecticut or other places and come to connecticut. one thing that has important to push back on is, number one, the confusion people feel even if they live in connecticut. and they know intellectually that abortion is legal, but what does that mean?
if i am a young woman or a patient and have to make a decision, what environment, making that decision in? it is legal in connecticut, but do i still have risk because of texas, because of sb 8, because of what i read on the internet and hear from other people to mark it is important for us to provide guidance and resources. we launched a hot blind that people can call and access resources at the state level. the other thing that has been important is to make your people understand the gravity of this moment. we have a gubernatorial election going on, and have a democratic incumbent governor who is very pro-choice and dedicated defending reproductive freedom in patients on women and doctors and health care providers. but we have a republican nominee
that says i am pro-choice and don't worry about it because connecticut is fine. don't believe it. he says connecticut is fine because we codified roe v. wade and you don't have to worry about it. we are not fine. nobody is fine in this country as long as somebody in connecticut or any other state is denied the right to make basic choices about their own bodies and health care and reproductive freedom. nobody is safe if there is confusion in connecticut as to how you access health care, to attack people in connecticut or our family and friends in other states don't have the same rights we do. nobody is safe because in an instant, my wife and sisters and mom and daughters became less free and less safe on a terrible
day in june. so, it is really important we all recognize, particularly in blue states, that we are not fine and we are not they. and that the fall of roe was not the end of the discussion. the fall of roe was the beginning. and what you are seeing now, kansas was good for a moment. but the next day, look at indiana. what is happening in south carolina. when they are done in those states, they will come for us. you are a former state legislator, you know that every year, even if these bills don't pass, there are bills that sound appealing to voters, parental notification, late-term abortion bans, things that sound appealing. and if you don't understand them and take into them and understand what they drive out, they can see people into thinking that is good policy.
so, despite the fact we codified roe, there are attacks every year on the right to choose in connecticut. and they will keep coming and they will intensify. that is why the message i want to leave with you is, it is time to stand up and fight everywhere. including blue states, purple states. everywhere. [applause] a.g. ellison: i agree with everything tish, rob and william said. dobbs was wrongly decided. i just wanted to put that in the ground. the supreme court says if it is not explicitly written in there, it is only a right if it is deeply rooted. i think 50 years is deeply rooted. so, they just decided
arbitrarily. don't be confused. this is not legal analysis. this is a straight politics. in the supreme court has always that way and make no mistake about it. dobbs was wrongly decided and it was decided because they want a condition of a certain kind of america. just watch "the handmaid's tale ." i think all of us agree, it is important to arbitrary decision to stop the vote count. then we can just fast-forward 2.
anti-majoritarian institutions area this is the supreme court imposing its will. these people have figured out that since we represent a distinct minority and i'm talking about the people that have been pushing us toward dobbs, if we are going to be in the minority, how do we rule the country? this division between men and women, people who were born here, people who were not, racial division, it seems like the rantings of a crazy president but there is a method
to the madness. they are picking your pocket while they are trading on the distraction. it is important to understand the trajectory we are on and the role the supreme court has consistently played other than the war in court. think about the plessy lochner era. you will know plessy. separate but equal. think about that court and the parallels to this one. kansas is important to note. it shows that even in red states, people don't like this, they don't care. very important to keep that in mind. minnesota is a bit of an island. we have a colleague named call me rebel. he is the ag in illinois.
we have colleagues who we adore we think are wonderful. the problem is they have laws that were established before they ever got to be ag which have essentially ripped out the -- wiped out the right to safe and legal abortion in michigan and wisconsin. iowa, north dakota, south dakota. we are seeing influx from texas, missouri, all of the other countries in minnesota. we made it clear that people understand that they have a right to an abortion. we have also made it clear to them that if you get an abortion in minnesota, you have a right to travel, a right to do what it is legal to do in minnesota. we will go into those cords and defend you. that includes extradition, this
includes a whole range of rights. people have the right to travel and the right to do what is legal to do in our states. it is important that we understand that we are not done. we are in the middle of something and what we really need is a massive upsurge of people who believe in basic human rights and freedoms for all. we have to be full throated about our embrace of multiracial democracy and not let that divide us. we have to be -- we have to understand this is not the moment to hope for the best and think they got enough already. it is very clear that they did not at any time -- these guys say they believe in president, notice coney barrett, gorsuch and cavanaugh said they would respect the president and all of
them have violated what they said in their confirmation hearings. at this point, i will wrap up by saying attorney general races are very important. i hope this is a lesson we all really embrace. maybe ag races were sleepy affairs in years gone by but not now. whether it is your wallet or your family pocketbook or your right to not be the victim of a scam or your basic human rights or your right to cast a vote or your right to not have the post office deprive you of your right to vote by mail. your ag is on the front of that fight. thank you for being here. thank you for listening. >> thank you. i will start with some questions.
the first question i have on this panel is you know that they have widely varied powers in different parts of the country. >> let me begin. i have the power to litigate and defend the state but we also have the ability for affirmative action from the limited -- from litigation cases. with respect to the reproductive rights space, what we do is file grievances. we have filed briefs against those days that have passed
stance on abortion. we have joined together with others to file briefs in cases where they have instituted six-week bands, 12 wavebands. -- bans, 12 week bans. we have been standing up and joining with our federal partners with respect to expanding access to reproductive rights and medical abortion as well. i have been working with social media companies about the misinformation and the disinformation that is online with respect to abortion providers including but not limited to the pregnancy prevention centers. we have joined a national coalition of over 20 attorney general's in issuing a statement reaffirming our commitment to
supporting and expanding access to abortions here and against pressing the federal government to do more and they can do more. particularly providing access to medical abortion and also, just messaging. it is really important. it is important that we get our talking points, making sure they are consistent and that there is a clear way to let us know what is happening all across the nation so that we can connect dots. this is not a policy discussion at this point. this is not a policy discussion. this is a point in our country where we are facing an existential threat to our democracy. it is really critically important that we use the power that is in our hands. that is the power to vote. we can only do that by bringing
in people who have been left behind and ignored for far too long and recognize the power of the vote. that is really critically important. we face a down ballot election. including the democratic attorney general's and expanding that bench, that is so important. that is why i need all of you to support chief allison and just scale and the best. those are incumbent democratic attorney general's. in new york, i am ok. everyone needs to come out and vote and maintain our bench and expand it. particularly in georgia. we need to pick one up in georgia. this is the time for voting and voting and recognizing we are in
the midst of a five-alarm fire. >> let me say that it is true that we all have slowly different powers from state to state. it is also true that every single state do have attorney general. there is an attorney general for you to work with no matter where you are. i would say to everybody listening, build a relationship with your attorney general. i used to be in congress and i know that sometimes but more and more, you will see in our states. we'll have to develop a stronger state sensibility but that does not mean we can't act nationally. we are acting nationally right now. so we coordinate on briefs a lot. the real thing is that you and i
and others on this panel co-govern by being in a relationship with each other. we do a lot of criminal prosecution but we are the prosecution of last resort. meaning that the counties have first shot at what cases will be prosecuted. i am actually not the boss of the county attorney. they are individually elected on their own. so i have to work in partnership with them. we have a lot of civil jurisdiction and we represent all the state agencies. we have a lot of authority in minnesota. we don't have all the authority. in some states like delaware and new jersey, the attorney general operates pretty much the same as the u.s. attorney general. they are the top criminal authority. not in every state though. it kinda varies from place to place.
we are talking about the right to choose. there in mind the words of clarence thomas. he said the right to privacy and all that stuff, what about the right to marry who you want to marry? what about the right to contraception? these people are ready to strike down your right to contraception. imagine the cops who will be knocking on peoples doors to find out whether they have birth control pills. this is an assault on everyone's freedom. make no mistake about it. he did not mention interracial marriage. funny. but don't doubt for a moment that -- until 1968, 16 states said it was illegal for a black
person and a white person -- for a white person to marry anybody unless they were white. they let us brown people marry whoever we wanted but they did not want to mess with the purity of the area and race. the bottom line is we are in a moment where we have to use up our power and we want to use it in connection with you. i will just say this, martin luther king never held any elective office. you don't have to be in office to wield power. but you do need to be working in conjunction with people who can benefit from your organizing, your research, your study and your creative ideas and that is why this is important. it puts us together in the same room to get our heads together.
>> in connecticut, abortion rights are civil rights. as it should be across the country. one of the things we are focused on is marshaling all of our civil rights authority and our civil rights unit to defend abortion rights and health care and the right to choose and the right to safe, legal and accessible abortions. we are working with the governor to put together this hotline where we are adding civil rights resources to our civil rights unit to staff up. for the oncoming fights and using all of our authority, not just our civil rights authority which we just acquired recently. i know many of my colleagues have civil rights units in their states. tish has a very popular civil rights authority in new york.
on top of that, i want to briefly touch on really important pieces of legislation. as ages, we have our actual enforcement authority and then we have a policy rule. although we are no longer legislators and front-line lawmakers, there is something called the bully pull. people for some reason care what we think. on certain issues. it is important for us to use that platform to speak. on a policy level, we hope to craft and pass a law in connecticut to fight the so-called pregnancy centers that are talked about today. does everybody in this room know about crisis pregnancy centers? these big organizations where people wear lab coats and look like doctors and nurses and they set up shop in connecticut next to planned parenthood or places where you can seek health and abortion and they deceive you
into coming in and sometimes in languages other than english so it seems like a hospitable place. when you think you're talking to a doctor or nurse when you go in , in fact, you are talking to an activist trying to talk you out of getting an abortion and to compromise your ability to make sound health care decisions. and in some cases, impair your health and if you are pregnant, imperil, your help going forward. having passed that law, we have the authority to bring an enforcement action under our consumer protection authority and other statutes to stop enjoying a crisis pregnancy center from lying to you. and to seek penalties and attorneys fees. that is number one. that is the concrete action. there is a lawsuit challenging this law.
we are engaged in that litigation. on top of that, you may have heard that connecticut was the first date in the country to pass a law to protect doctors in light of what we are seeing with dobbs. it basically focuses on protecting women and patients, especially against interstate interference. we found it was important to say that the governor and the attorney general -- we are not going to extradite people for doing something in connecticut that is not illegal in connecticut. however it is really important for me to make sure everybody understands this is not a safe harbor. it is going to be tough to hold this line because it does not
allow you to go to connecticut and seek protection. that doesn't mean we want do everything we can to help you if all you did was seek health care . we did as much as we could do and that is protect people when they have done something in connecticut that is not a crime in connecticut. on top of that, the law prohibits state employees, government employees from assisting people from other states like serving process, legal process, serving process -- processing in court, actions to attack people in connecticut from out of state. we also stopped and set up barriers so people coming from out of state are trying to get information about people's health care decisions are stopped from getting that
information. finally, i will add that -- two additional important things it does is it expands the ability of advanced practice registered nurses and physicians assistants to perform medication and that was an important clarification. also, it creates a cause of action so if you are a doctor or nurse in connecticut and somebody from texas comes in and tries to sue you work soon in texas and somehow hold you liable for doing something that is not a legal in connecticut, that is assisting somebody in getting health care, we now create a cause of action so you can counter sue them for attacking you as an additional protection and check on other states invading the sovereignty of the state of connecticut.
the power that attorneys general have are widely varied and the full range of them are not always intuitive. some of them have been touched on. i want to put a point of emphasis on some of them. prosecuting someone who endangers the safety and security of a clinic. going to court, finding an amicus brief. overtraining trump euros that rollback, providing comment letters on proposed rules of the biden administration. this can strengthen all of the direct legal roles. we also want to talk about a
little bit more, and it comes to tech convening power, we can pull groups together and all these powers, we need to use every single one of them to the fullest extent. it is all hands on deck. every lever that you have to fight and push back, this is to work, collaborate, partner, it could be pulling the private bar together to provide representation when individuals are civilly sued or criminally prosecuted. it could be working with our u.s. attorneys in the state of california as we have to make sure our clinics are safe and secure, working with our health care providers, our law enforcement community to make sure they are reminded of the lives at this time. not always articulated but you won't see it in the constitution or any statue but is -- it is an
important role. as chief law officers, we can clarify and reaffirm what the law is. reminding people that in california, abortion is legal, accessible and safe. whatever also your hearing or reading, it is important to state with the law is. people are not sure. they need their chief law officer to help them. we go by consumer alerts, telling people what crisis pregnancy centers are, telling district attorneys, public defenders and police that the homicide statute shall not be used to prosecute pregnancy loss. we got involved in an amicus brief. we clarified with the rule is and is not for the rest of the state. that advising power is really important. we have oversight power as well.
as the health care industry continues to seek more mergers, when nonprofit hospitals merge and consolidate, we have a role of reviewing the terms and conditions and providing approval and one of the things you always look for is to make sure that health care remains robust. from direct legal power to advising power, to oversight power, there is a lot of power that we have. we are doing our best to use all of them in california. i know my fellow colleagues are as well. >> my next question is we know that both legal and practical steps impact communities of color. what additional things can
governors do to help in this space? questioning you for that question. i just want to give a primer on the 14th amendment really quick. i think it is important that individuals understand the 14th amendment was basically enacted to protect the rights of black people. that 14th amendment was expanded to protect the right to marry, protect the right to reproductive care. as was mentioned, justice clarence thomas says it is not over yet. loving versus virginia may be challenged. we although it happened to roe v. wade. this will have a particularly big impact on women of color who do not have access to transportation to have an
abortion. we are working with advocacy groups all across this nation for the first organizer in the state of new york. particularly the state to have complete and total bands and restrictive laws with respect to access to abortions. and we have republican attorney general's were never reached out to these organized groups. they have no idea what an attorney general does in most cases, what they do, what their role is and what their responsibilities what you are doing is organizations on the ground. it is extending and expanding our arm of justice. lastly, working with social media companies, i convened a few of them last week. i asked them a series of questions with regards to
privacy, the tracking of information. this information, disinformation, what they are doing with respect to storing a lot of the information and where they stand with respect to reproductive health care. they had to respond to a letter from a republican colleague that basically said the first amendment -- you should use the first amendment to protect the rights of crisis pregnancy centers and others who are quote unquote pro-life. let me just put a comma there. individuals that are pro-life are against childcare, prenatal care. resources for individuals who seek to have children in our country. to describe them as being pro-life. that being said, just reaching out organizations on the ground, spreading the word, dividing
free transportation, free childcare and more for those individuals that want to come to new york state to have a safe abortion. that is what we are doing in new york. we will continue to be a safe haven. as long as i am attorney general , we will extend our hand individuals. particularly low income individuals and women of color who did not have an ally or a friend. >> thank you. what are some other aspect of abortion access that people may not immediately think of as barriers and how is your office looking to make sure those don't become roadblocks? >> a lot of people have said that in california, abortion is
safe, legal and accessible, there is nothing else you need to do. that is absolutely wrong. it is the opposite. it is time to lean in and push to get further into this and address all the different ways that access to reproductive health and abortion can be limited or scaled-back or reduced. simple things but important things like having access to a clinic. where you would seek reproductive health care an abortion and doing that free of intimidation, working with local law enforcement. i know we are hearing from planned parenthood and making sure we provide enough security and support so that those who seek to access the claims can do so. making sure that the internet and our information systems don't have disinformation. and that we may -- make clear where you can get reproductive health care and to those who
might try to suggest they are providing the productive health care but are not. we are reminding those who have a duty that they might not be focused on that they need to fulfill that duty, including a duty to our jails and prisons to provide health care to those individuals who have no choice. we are making sure that those who have sensitive data about pregnancy on apps that women and other pregnant people use as they decide to start a family, that that is protected, confidential, private, not disclosed. there are but a few places and ways where we are getting involved. we will oversee health care providers and making sure that we don't lose reproductive
health care services. it is not just the right to an abortion, there are so many aspects and components where we have to be vigilant and communicating and getting active and forcing right now. it is more important than ever that we stay active and aggressive. >> my next question is for agl is in. we have been seeing a lot of different things on social media about donating to abortion asked. you put at risk of prosecution in another state? this is a real concern. >> you know what it is when you start litigating.
i would argue this is a legal thing to do. i can't guarantee you that ken paxton is not going to try to sue you. or prosecute you. that is the territory we are in right now. we don't have any -- no lawyer who studied this will tell you that nobody is going to serve you with something if you exercise your first amendment right to support other people's right to get an abortion in a place where it is legal to do so. that is how i would add to that question. i think it is legal and lawful. i think you should do it.
you should do it knowing you have consulted somebody, the laws of your state and the state where the abortion will be performed and walk into it knowing about it. if you have a very specific case, talk about it and flush it out. we are not in an environment where you can take action and then completely ignore the implications but that does not mean you should not do what you believe is right. you should do what is right, knowing that there will be people trying to oppose you. that is what courage is called. when you do something knowing that somebody else might not like it. >> the next question is for ag james and agl is in.
do you have any advice for the best way forward to help in this fight? chris the first thing to do to make sure that people can have a right to a safe and legal abortion is educate yourself, understand what is going on. i don't know if you would read every single word of dobbs so you understand what it is. you want to connect with people who are already here. there are people who are working on a woman's right to choose. connect with them, do not just do it on your own.
study, connect with people were working on it, there might be people who you could be a dula, an activist, you can help raise money for people. there will be some people from some states where the right to abortion is not legal and they have to spend a lot of money to go somewhere it is legal. these people may have to stay somewhere overnight so that raising resources is important. i would also say it is important to understand there are other rights that have been jeopardized and put into question with the dobbs decision. start working on that stuff now. i think also, they said it is a state matter. in light of kansas, can we win a statewide guarantee to abortion
in a red state? don't say can happen, you don't know that. lessee what you can do. i remember in 2012, the far right wanted to pass about measure in minnesota that says marriage can only be between one man and one woman. and after we defeated at the polls, we passed a law that said it is your business, not the government. what if we put some stuff up there and see where it went. increasing the minimum wage like the person legislation in mississippi. there have been valid measures where we one.
there were limitation is out imagination. and our ability to work hard so let's get on. i heard time and time again as i have trouble with this country that there is a lot of apathy amongst democrats. there is a lot of excitement on the others. the other side votes on single issues. i would like to choose, i would like to organize. i would lead to organize our right to vote, all of that should motivate individuals to get out and vote. it is also important to understand that the attack
against reproductive care and the right to an abortion, it is really a public health crisis. it jeopardizes the lives of women. it endangers people's lives. it is as simple as that. so many women have died as a result of pregnancy. so many people have gone into places to have an abortion. 70 people have lost jobs because they have become pregnant. so many people. people need to get out there and organize like never before. we need to let people know what is at stake. our fundamental values, our democracy and women as a whole. our right to autonomy, to control our own bodies.
having an abortion, it really constitutes your emergency care. what happens when individuals present themselves, particularly in red states, they are not given emergency care reached by federal law. this is a time for all of us to act. this is not the time for all of us to sit back and to analyze. this is the time that all of us must be boots on the ground and organize like never before. it is time for action. it is time to vote for people who believe in choice, the right to marry, --
this must be passed now. >> there is at least one member of the supreme court who does not believe in the right to privacy. what implications does not have? are there any steps or officers are taking to protect other rights that may be the threat in the future? >> yes, clarence thomas, thank you, general james. let me go again -- echo again
what general ellis said. i am pretty confident, very confident that if you are a woman or a patient in connecticut, you can get one. you will have access to a safe abortion. beyond that, there are very few guarantees now. that is why it is such a difficult and time. let me nerd out for a second. you asked a legal question. i had a special opportunity to learn constitutional law from professor barack obama. in that class, i learned that the right to privacy is embedded in the 14th amendment as general james said.
you learned this at some point, in some way in u.s. history or civics. that has always been true. but the supreme court did in a few short days is blow all of that up. that is why when clarence thomas says that the door is now open to revisit facts, legal facts that we have always known to be true that are based on the right to privacy, the fact that i am able to marry my wife who is a white woman without anybody questioning or taking legal action against us and our three children and our family, they have the right in connecticut and across the country to marry who they love. if they are the same sex, it is legal. it ought to be safe and legal.
they have blown the usual in that legal foundation. i just want to close by saying that they did this all on this structure of originalism. they think we should interpret the constitution the way it would have been interpreted at the founding and that there has to be the historical analogue, whatever that means to anything that we do today. i just want to note that there is a real callousness to originalism.
in order to buy what clarence thomas is telling, you have to ignore the fact that in order to get rid of a state law to protect us from gun violence, you are making people sick. that did not exist. it is the callousness, the recklessness. they did not think about that young woman in ohio or the doctor in indiana and they don't care. that is what we have to push back on. there is this dark and insidious legal movement that is founded on this principle of originalism
but it is not any principal at all. it is a callous approach to wrecking people's lives. they will try to pass a nationwide ban on abortion. my -- if they try, our colleagues will be the first to sue. justice thomas at the quiet part out loud. what he said was dangerous and tragic and i believe wrongly analyzed. if there is any silver lines
that, it is that there is advanced notice and the opportunity to know what might come into act. in california, right now, the legislature has put on the ballot a proposition to strengthen and enshrine privacy rights. privacy rights are being stripped away and putting them in our state constitution. the right to an abortion, the right to contraception. we have proposition eight which bans same sex marriage. it could reemerge and reappear if those court decisions are reversed. we know that and we have a chance to act.
when you have a court that was handpicked and packed for people with certain ideology and stripped away right. there is an opportunity to voice our views of that. we have a minority that dictates on the majority of this country. we have people who believe in roe v. wade and common sense gun laws. we can't let the minority dictate for the majority. the right to vote best with the people.
you all have a way to persuade people but it is difficult for elected public official to do. if you are inclined to write a poem, make a movie, paint a picture, write a song, we need you to do that. it is impossible for me to understand the 60's that thinking about marvin gaye. it is impossible for me to understand the civil rights movement without those songs. we need the artists to step up, we need artists and activists to help inspire people -- some of you all, right about
that story. your circumstance may be the same as somebody else. in my freedom to talk about the situation. a friend of mine was talking about pregnancy. we painted the room, we decorated all the stuff of the baby. i was so excited. the doctor told me i was not going to survive if i did not have this abortion, i was brokenhearted. how is some politician going to come and tell this woman what she is supposed to do? and yet that is a right they irrigate onto themselves. there is an -- there is an important artistic moment to be met here. i hope we don't miss it. >> thank you for that.
it has been my privilege to serve with these attorney generals and others not present. we have sued predatory landlords, predatory lenders, price counters, we have sued big tech, we sued gun manufacturers. we delivered dollars for individuals. now it is our time and we have stood up to defend the right to choose. if you look at all throughout history, we are in a time when we really need to rise up and stand up together as a coalition of individuals that care about one another and recognize that we are all part of one human family.
the civil rights era, the suffragettes, they were altogether. i am leaning in on young people. particularly people who were all sort -- all part of the social media community. the 14th amendment is clear. we will not deny to any person the equal protection of its law. it is really critically important that a woman's right to abortion and privacy is
protected under the 14th amendment. let us remember that as we marched silently into the polling site and vote. for our democracy and our country and vote for a woman to have control over her future, her destiny. thank you so much. thank you for allowing me to say that. >> does anyone have just one quick question? we are a little over.
>> the artists could be stepping up. the question is what other groups could be stepping up at this time? >> i will be quick. i would have to hear here the ideas of my colleagues. i will tell you -- ag james did mention the business community. i would say it is health care community. the doctors and nurses in particular. >> i would add to that universities and academia. what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. you need to step up. i will just add philanthropy. they are stepping up. but it is a time -- just as
corporate response ability as needed. anyone with a platform, whether it be social media -- i love it when people use their celebrity for good. athletes, movie stars, this is important to all of us. they have a following in people who care about what they say and they can use that as something for good. >> the business community, you cannot have a functioning economy without a functioning democracy. right now, our democracy is being threatened by forces that are going to turn back the clocks of progress. >> thank you. one more round of applause for our attorneys general. thank you.
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watch coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span also on the free video and, c-span now. in 2019 reporter ben raines discovered the remains of the slave ship in a swamp outside of mobile, alabama. sunday night as we showcase the best of q&a, he talks about his book that details the history of: tilde and how and why the translated -- transported slaves to alabama more than 60 years after the transatlantic slave trade without law. >> we had the whole story you served as a proxy for every united states world whose families are and whatever country they are in. most of those people we know nothing about because their stories were not recorded so it is a proxy for this loss history
for these millions of people who were stolen from africa and spread all over the world and that is what is so unique about it. it is the whole story of slavery all encapsulated in one piece and we know everything about these people and what happened to them in their lives. >> ben rein sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. listen to q&a and others on the new c-span now app. >> middle and high school students, it is your time to shine. you are invited to participate in this year's documentary competition. picture yourself as a newly elected member of congress. we asked competitors what is your top priority and why. make a five to six minute video that shows the importance of your vision from opposing and
supporting perspectives. do not be afraid to take risks, be bold. among $100,000 in cash prizes is a $5,000 rep. price:. videos must be submitted by january 20, 2023. >> a fail see a your president liz shuler talked about the role of unions and her efforts to grow union membership and influence. the christian science monitor hosts the hour-long discussion. announcer: afl-cio president liz schuller talked about the role of unions enter efforts to grow union membership and influence. the christian science monitor hosts the hour-long discussion.
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