The ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood Have Leveled a Coordinated Legal Strike on Restrictive Abortion Laws in Three States

A great deal of national attention recently has been drawn to abortion rights — and justifiably so. The president-elect has vowed to nominate justices committed to overturning Roe v. Wade. And yesterday he nominated Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price is a man who at every opportunity has voted to take away people’s access to health care, to deny women the right to have an abortion, to cut off access to contraception, and to defund Planned Parenthood.

But while we worry about the future of abortion rights at the federal level, far too many women  wake up in states where their right to abortion remains so inaccessible that the right is more theoretical than real. And that is because of state laws like those we are challenging today which are expressly designed to prevent a woman who has decided to have an abortion from actually getting one.

Today the ACLU has joined forces with the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood in a new wave of lawsuits to protect and expand access to abortion.  Together, we simultaneously filed three challenges to medically unnecessary abortion restrictions in Alaska, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Women have a constitutional right to decide whether to end or continue a pregnancy, and the Supreme Court has consistently upheld this right. Just this summer — in their landmark decision striking down Texas’ abortion restrictions that closed clinics across the state — the court reaffirmed that laws that impose a burden on women’s access to abortion must be balanced by some medical benefit. Since the ruling, abortion restrictions in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma and Wisconsin have already been struck down or been permanently blocked. 

The law is clear: States cannot ban abortion.

But laws in Missouri and Alaska impose burdens on health care centers, reminiscent of the restrictions struck down by the Supreme Court.  Missouri regulations require facilities providing abortions to be outfitted like mini-hospitals. Because of the regulations, only one licensed provider remains to serve over one million women in  the state.

Meanwhile, regulations in Alaska require clinics to be equipped and staffed for “major” surgery. The requirement is so vague and confusing that the people who are subject to these requirements have no way to know what kinds of actions would violate them.

Other regulations in Alaska that date back 40 years prevent health centers from providing abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy. For many Alaskan women, that means traveling out of state to access the care they need. 

In North Carolina, an unconstitutional law that we challenged today bans abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy with exceptions only for extremely narrow medical emergencies.. By doing so, the law forces physicians to delay from caring for women until their condition imposes an immediate threat of death or major medical damage. The law is a threat to the dignity and health of women who seek care, not rejection, from medical professionals.

We filed today’s lawsuits to send a clear message: From Alaska to North Carolina — and every state in between — we will continue to fight until every woman has the dignity to make decisions about her body, her family, and her future. Our bodies, our rights, and our clinics are not going anywhere.  

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Helen Hunter

And again, it is not "killing a child inside them". It is ending a pregnancy for whatever reason a woman chooses, whether it seems irresponsible to you or not.
It is not a child, or a baby, it is a fetus that is not viable. It is every woman's right to choose. It is her own body. It does not belong to whoever she chooses to have sex with, even a loved partner. Her body certainly does not belong to society, the government, her doctor, or any random woman hater who thinks he or she has the right to force her to act as they would act!
Don't like abortion? Don't have one. Leave the rest of us to make our own choices.

Helen Hunter

And again, it is not "killing a child inside them". It is ending a pregnancy for whatever reason a woman chooses, whether it seems irresponsible to you or not.
It is not a child, or a baby, it is a fetus that is not viable. It is every woman's right to choose. It is her own body. It does not belong to whoever she chooses to have sex with, even a loved partner. Her body certainly does not belong to society, the government, her doctor, or any random woman hater who thinks he or she has the right to force her to act as they would act!
Don't like abortion? Don't have one. Leave the rest of us to make our own choices.

Anonymous

the most positive action would be to provide birth control EVERYWHERE -- stop the need before it starts. If weed can be made legal, this aught to be made a popular cause.

Lisa

Please take a look at the law in Ohio that they are trying to pass that bans abortion after six weeks.

Anonymous

I find it interesting that 99.9% of those trying to block abortion believe in a make-believe god who is supposedly perfect. Yet this same perfect god is apparently responsible for millions of defective fetuses that are naturally aborted yearly.

Anonymous

Sometimes it just has to be done. All of you anti-abortion people out there should get a grip: sometimes people have to make the decision to abort. Would they rather make the opposite decision? Of course. You see them smiling in the clinic and think they don't care; let me tell you, they care. Actually you have no right to be criticizing decisions that other people make, about anything, let alone something as important as this. You don't know any background of any situation, yet you get all righteous, you picket abortion clinics, you even kill abortion doctors, you harrass and annoy....actually you pretty much have huge tantrums.....because people are doing something you do not agree with. Do you think your opinion is the "right" opinion because it is what YOU believe. Sorry; your opinion is only right for you. MY opinion is you should mind your own business.

Anonymousindepe...

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Anonymous

Fact: neither a fetus nor a baby can live by itself. Fact: a baby is not fully formed. Fact: a zygote, an embryo, and a foetus ARE factually human individuals. Check your high school biology books. Odd how this debate always seems do dissolve into "Well, I'm just not going to listen to those crazy RTL nuts who believe religion, not science". Roe wasn't decided on science, not on natural law, it was legislation from the bench. Bottom line, if some human beings deserve protection of the law, then ALL humans do. It does NOT rest on religion. And if you don't believe that, it is because you're just not listening, not thinking, because you just don't want to.

Rosie

In Washington we are fighting for the right to abort dog fetuses. How that came about was a story in NY. An actual human being was killed by a Pitt bull. Not only that for cases like my own. I have a dog name copper who is pregnant again "like a little slut" I can not afford a litter of pups. I would take her pupps to the pound? But I am afraid that they will be put down if no one adopts them. If we can get the white house and other people to open their eyes to this issue we can nip this in the butt! We need to get this law pass to exterminate dog fetuses.

Rosie

In Washington we are fighting for the right to abort dog fetuses. How that came about was a story in NY. An actual human being was killed by a Pitt bull. Not only that for cases like my own. I have a dog name copper who is pregnant again "like a little slut" I can not afford a litter of pups. I would take her pupps to the pound? But I am afraid that they will be put down if no one adopts them. If we can get the white house and other people to open their eyes to this issue we can nip this in the butt! We need to get this law pass to exterminate dog fetuses.

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