AUSTIN – Reed Smith today filed a supplemental amicus brief in the Texas Supreme Court in the case of Zurawski v. Texas, welcoming an additional eight business organizations and three individuals who have signed on in support of the brief. Now, a total of 51 leading businesses, organizations, and individuals with operations in Texas have signed the brief, which argues that ambiguity in the state’s abortion bans are having a negative impact on the economy.

The original brief was filed on November 20, one week prior to oral argument in Zurawski, with strong backing from the Texas Community. Austin-based online dating company Bumble Inc. topped the list of some 40 companies and businesspeople joining the brief, which is uniquely focused on the economic fallout from the state’s abortion bans.

Since that time, a new lawsuit has arisen involving a Texas woman (Kate Cox), her husband, and her physician, who filed suit seeking legal permission to obtain an abortion, which Ms. Cox’s physicians counseled her is medically necessary given the fetus’s fatal diagnosis and the severe health risks she faces continuing the pregnancy.

A trial court agreed that Ms. Cox’s situation fell within the existing medical exceptions under Texas’s abortion bans and issued an order protecting Ms. Cox, her husband, her physician, and others from legal liability under any of Texas’s abortion bans and permitting her to proceed with the abortion. However, the Texas Attorney General is attempting to block access to the emergency abortion care, and the Texas Supreme Court issued an order late Friday evening blocking the lower court’s order, thus denying abortion care for Ms. Cox in her home state.

While Reed Smith is not directly involved in Ms. Cox’s case, Reed Smith partner Sarah Cummings Stewart – who led the team that co-authored the business amicus brief in the Zurawski case – had this to say about the Cox case:

“What’s happening to Ms. Cox is a prime example of the urgent need for clarification of the medical exceptions under Texas’s abortion bans and why, due the chaos that ensues from the absence of such clarification, people are fleeing Texas and refusing to move to Texas. This is why businesses will continue to struggle to recruit and retain talent. This is why pregnant women from other states are hesitant to travel to Texas for business meetings. This is why conferences are moving their events to other states. This is why doctors are leaving the state. This is why our economy is taking a hit.”

Among the latest and largest signatories of Reed Smith’s business brief is the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC), which, with more than 500,000 members, is the only nationwide organization focused on promoting women’s economic development.

“In the wake of the Kate Cox case, it is clear to see why the state’s vaguely written abortion bans are having a chilling effect on the Texas economy,” said Charmagne Manning, president of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. “As our brief highlights, a direct line can be drawn between these cases and the historic departures of businesses and workers from Texas, which is already costing billions in lost opportunity.”

The brief further details how an uncertain and confusing Texas regulatory environment is creating professional and personal difficulties for those who work and travel in Texas, as well as adversely impacting employee recruitment and retention, and creating obstacles for attracting new businesses, visitors and events.

Additional new signatories to the business brief include: United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Alyssa Dadoly, Anderson Diaz PLLC, Bespoke Luxury Designs, Buenos Diaz Landscaping, Comeka Anderson Diaz, Emmer and Rye Hospitality Group, Jen Grogono, Lush Cosmetics, Mio, and Preacher.

For further details, please see our Nov. 20 news release.