A collage that features a protest banner, a pregnancy test, and a map of the United States in support of abortion and reproductive rights

Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative

What's At Stake

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is having life-altering and life-threatening consequences for women and other people who can become pregnant. The decision revoked the federal constitutional right to abortion, and with it our agency over our health, our lives, and our futures. In some states, the government may now prosecute people involved in abortion care.

This unprecedented moment in the fight for reproductive rights demands a nationwide system to ensure that health care providers, individuals that provide funding and practical support, and patients know that they will have access to a zealous defense should they be prosecuted. No one should have to navigate the injustice of this system alone.

Our Approach

The Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative is one way the ACLU is confronting the criminalization of abortion care in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Through this initiative, the ACLU has established and is working alongside a network of over 100 experienced criminal defense attorneys in every state where abortion is banned or severely restricted.


Woman in courtroom

As we continue to work towards a world where everyone can get the reproductive health care they need, we won’t back down from defending the rights and dignity of individuals to make decisions about their bodies and their futures.

About The Initiative

Lauren Johnson
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By criminalizing essential healthcare, politicians and prosecutors deny the humanity of people who become pregnant, seeking to control their bodies, and determine their futures. And the people who are most likely to be investigated and prosecuted as a result of this criminalization are Black, Brown, and those with low incomes. We are here and we are ready to fight on your behalf.

As ACDI Director Lauren Johnson says, “They will not stand alone.”

Our Latest Work

In addition to our work with the attorney network to defend those who face criminal threats, the ACDI is proactively fighting against the harm of laws and policies that restrict access to abortion.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page