The Latest Assault on Abortion Rights (ep. 48)

May 30, 2019
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In the last few months, six states have passed laws that essentially ban abortion, and several other states have similar bills pending.  Restrictions on access to abortion have been building for decades since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion is a constitutional right. But these direct assaults on abortion represent a turning point. Brigitte Amiri, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, has litigated several major abortion rights cases. She joins At Liberty to talk about how the new state bans could play out and what it’s like to be on the frontlines of the battle for reproductive rights.  

EMERSON SYKES
[0:04] From the ACLU, this is At Liberty. I'm Emerson Sykes, a staff attorney here at the ACLU and your host.

In the last few months, eight states have passed laws severely restricting access to abortion and several other states have similar bills pending. Most notably, Alabama recently passed a law that prohibits nearly all abortions with no exception for rape or incest. Five other states have passed bills prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy — so early that many women do not even realize they're pregnant at that point. This wave of abortion restrictions has been building for decades since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, but it seems as if we've reached a turning point.

Our guest today is my colleague Brigitte Amiri. Brigitte is the deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project and she's been a tireless advocate for abortion rights for almost 20 years. She's litigated several major cases, including a current challenge to Kentucky's abortion ban. We'll discuss the state of abortion rights in America, how we got to this dramatic moment, and what it's like to be on the frontlines of this battle to protect the right to abortion. Brigitte, thanks very much for being here.

Welcome to the podcast.

BRIGITTE AMIRI
Thanks for having me.

EMERSON
So can you start by orienting those of us who've had trouble keeping track of the quick succession of bills and the ever heightening rhetoric? If someone woke up after a four month nap, how would you explain to them what's happened and where things stand now?

BRIGITTE
I would say that we're at a unique time in our country's history on access to abortion and we've now seen six states pass bans on abortion. And I've never seen anything like this in the time that I've been doing this work. It is a direct assault on access to abortion. It's an attempt to try to overrule Roe vs. Wade, which was decided in 1973. And we're really firing on all cylinders. We have our challenges to the state restrictions and we're also battling the Trump administration, as well. So both of these fronts — the state battles and the federal battles — are really keeping us busy.

EMERSON
[2:14] Well let's start with the status quo. So Roe v. Wade set the line at viability, which is roughly 24 to 28 weeks, after which abortion is prohibited. How did we get from there to where we are now?

BRIGITTE
Yeah. So just a bit of a clarification. So Roe vs. Wade — in 1973, the Supreme Court found that the right to abortion is a fundamental constitutional right under the right to privacy. They said that states may not prohibit abortion prior to viability, and after that point states may ban abortion except to save the woman's life or to save her health. There have been obviously other Supreme Court cases along the way that have reaffirmed that fundamental principle that states may not ban abortion outright, and most recently in 2016 the Supreme Court reaffirmed this in a case called Whole Woman's Health.

EMERSON
And probably the most egregious violation of this Supreme Court precedent is the Alabama law. Can you say a word about the Alabama law?

BRIGITTE
So Alabama bans abortions outright with hardly any exceptions and that is slightly different than the other bans that we've seen in the other states — Recently Mississippi, Ohio...

EMERSON
Missouri.

BRIGITTE
Missouri. Missouri is eight weeks and...

EMERSON
Georgia.

BRIGITTE
Georgia. That's right.

EMERSON
Kentucky.

BRIGITTE
Kentucky. That's right. My case.

But it's just a matter of degrees. The other states that have banned abortion recently, it's really two weeks after a person misses their period — before most people know that they were pregnant, especially if you have irregular periods.

So an outright ban versus a six week ban is not really materially different. These are extreme bans across the board.

EMERSON
And the idea of the fetal heartbeat — the six week, approximately six week line — is that a new development? Where did that line in the sand come from?

BRIGITTE
It comes from an anti-abortion playbook. So when we see these copycat bills over and over again, this is the direct design of an anti-abortion movement where they're trying to pass these laws to change the conversation to ban abortion. And it's really a coordinated effort across the country.

EMERSON
[4:13] Well and there are bills pending in many more states.

BRIGITTE
There are. The legislatures are winding down for this session. So I don't know how many more we'll see. Louisiana is a possibility of one we might see. We've recently heard Michigan as a possibility, my home state.

EMERSON
Now these abortion bans have not gone unnoticed. You've seen people flooding into the streets. What do you make of the reaction to these bills?

BRIGITTE
I think it's great that people are paying attention now. I mean it's very unfortunate that we got to this place, but a couple of things I want to note.

First of all, abortion is legal in all 50 states right now. I think there’s been a tremendous amount of confusion about that, and that's by design. The people who are pushing these bills want to confuse people, they want to chill access to abortion, and they want to shame and stigmatize providers of abortion by criminalizing abortion. But today abortion is legal in all 50 states and we're fighting to keep it that way.

The attention that these bills have received is important because if we are going to preserve access to abortion in this country, it's all hands on deck. And that's the moment that we're in right now. Obviously there's been a chipping away, a slow chipping away, at the right to abortion over the last several decades — actually since Roe vs Wade was decided. Shortly after in the mid 70s we saw restrictions being passed on access to abortion, and have ever since.

So I would say to the people who are galvanized by the bans that everybody should also pay attention to the other restrictions that are pending short of bans, because you don't have to ban abortion in a state to eliminate access to abortion. And Kentucky is a perfect case study of that and we can talk about that more.

EMERSON
Well I do want to get to Kentucky next. You said that it's all hands on deck. And I'd like to hear more about who those hands are. Obviously the ACLU has been playing a prominent role in challenging some of these laws but who are the other members of the coalition? What are the different players that are trying to push back?

BRIGITTE
[6:04] So in the States, there are a number of reproductive justice groups. And these are women of color-led organizations that have been really at the frontline of the battles on the states to push against legislation restricting access to abortion, in addition to doing a whole host of other work on the reproductive justice front.

There are also in the fight is our organizations that fund abortion and fund travel for abortion. These abortion funds are critically important in this fight. Obviously, the other national groups — Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL. It's a whole a whole host of organizations and the private providers themselves. A number of abortion clinics are very active in their states in terms of this organizing efforts, and obviously without them, patients wouldn't be seen.

EMERSON
Let's dig in a little bit on Kentucky where you're the lead on several cases. Can you talk about the most recent challenge that you're battling in Kentucky?

BRIGITTE
Yeah. So Kentucky has one abortion provider and I think a lot of people are surprised to hear that Kentucky is one of six states that has only one abortion provider left. Right after Roe versus Wade was decided in 1973, there were 17 places where you could get an abortion in Kentucky, and today there is one. And that is our clinic, EMW Women's Surgical Center owned by Dr. Marshall.

We are honored to represent them in four cases challenging five laws, and most recently this case that we had to file was a challenge to a ban on abortion starting at six weeks in pregnancy and a ban on abortion based on the reasons a person is seeking abortion, including for a fetal diagnosis.

So Kentucky's a bit unusual that if there is a abortion restriction passed, it takes effect immediately upon Governor Bevin's signature. And so we had to file our case after the legislation passed, anticipating Bevin would sign. And the court blocked the laws — both — a few hours after they were signed and took effect. But there was a scramble in the meantime and it was very disruptive to patient care.

EMERSON
[8:07] Well as you said this is not your first battle in Kentucky and obviously the ban is a very dramatic measure. But can you talk a little bit about some of the other measures that have been passed, short of a ban, that have chipped away at the right to abortion? I know there are all sorts of restrictions on access. People have been very creative in building walls between women and their services.

BRIGITTE
That's right. And there are other lawsuits obviously that are pending in Kentucky in particular and those are good case samples of what we've been doing. Some of them have been brought by my colleagues. It's been a huge team effort.

The one case that I'm also lead counsel on, though, is a case involving a requirement that abortion providers have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital. And EMW had that agreement in place for years compliant with the law. And when Governor Bevin took office he made it his mission to close abortion providers. There were three abortion providers when he took office and he forced the closure of two of them. And he's been trying to close our clinic in Louisville ever since.

And so Governor Bevin's administration got a hold of the transfer agreement that EMW had in place with a local hospital and said it was signed by the wrong person. So the head of the OBGYN department is who signed the transfer agreement. But Governor Bevin said that it needed to be signed by the CEO of the hospital and if it wasn't fixed in 10 days, that EMW would be forced to close their doors.

EMERSON
And how explicit has he been about his mission to shut all abortion clinics?

BRIGITTE
Very explicit. He wants Kentucky to be the first state to have no abortion provider. This is his mission. He has talked about it openly.

He has galvanized the anti-abortion forces. He spoke to a group that eventually came to EMW’s clinic and blockaded their doors. We hadn't seen an old school blockade like this for a long time but in May of 2017, we saw a number of people go to EMW, sit in front of the doors, refuse to let patients in or out of the clinic during a day where patients were seen. They were arrested, and actually, under the Jeff Sessions Department of Justice, there was a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances case brought against those people who blockaded the doors of EMW.

EMERSON
[10:15] Wow. Well can you tell us more about your client and also how these restrictions have affected the community?

BRIGITTE
Yeah. Our client is amazing, I have to say. I'm just so amazed by their resilience. Dr. Marshall has been providing access to abortion for close to 40 years and he is an OBGYN.

He's also delivered a number of babies throughout his time and actually when you walk around Louisville with him he's often stopped on the streets by people saying thank you so much for delivering my son, my daughter.

And he's also been providing abortions in the community for close to 40 years.

EMERSON
And what is the impact on a community when they really don't have access to clinics? Obviously in Louisville there's the one, but the rest of the state — what are people doing? How is it impacting them?

BRIGITTE
So people have to travel hundreds of miles, and people come not just from Kentucky but from all over the surrounding region because Kentucky is one of the few places where you can get an abortion in the second trimester. So there's all kinds of people traveling from all over. And luckily there is a wonderful community, not just the clinic that is there in Louisville but there is an abortion fund.

We talked about abortion funds earlier. It's Kentucky Health Justice Network that provides funds to pay for the abortion, to pay for travel, to get to the clinic, to pay for overnight stays if needed. And there's also a group of volunteer escorts because there are protesters out every day when patients are seen at EMW. And there is a group of people that make sure that people can get into the clinic safely.

EMERSON
Well and the reason that we need a fund is because anytime there needs to be travel or it becomes more onerous, obviously the poorest folks are gonna be the most heavily impacted.

BRIGITTE
That's right. And going back to the restrictions that were passed right after Roe versus Wade was decided, in 1976, the Hyde amendment passed. And this was named after Henry Hyde, who was a politician from Illinois. And this rider has been passed every year since, and it prohibits Medicaid from covering abortion. And Henry Hyde explicitly said that he would want to ban abortion for everybody, but his only vehicle was the Medicaid bill.

[12:22] So you saw a very direct restriction on access to abortion for low income individuals. And we've seen this throughout our history — that politicians go after the most marginalized, to take away their constitutional rights. And the inability to use public insurance and now private insurance in a lot of states, including Kentucky, largely, it restricts access to abortion as well.

EMERSON
And repealing the Hyde Amendment is a priority for the Reproductive Freedom Project and also for the Rights for All campaign as well.

BRIGITTE
That's right. So one of the questions that ACLU voters have been asking presidential candidates is, “Do you have a commitment to repeal the Hyde Amendment?” which is incredibly important.

EMERSON
Well I know the litigation is pending, but what do you think are the prospects for success in these suits?

BRIGITTE
So with respect to the bans, we anticipate winning in the district court. We anticipate winning in the court of appeals. Lower courts are bound by Supreme Court precedent, and this is a straightforward case. States may not ban abortion in this way. So we are very optimistic that we will be successful in striking down the bans in the lower courts, and the real question is what happens when we get to the Supreme Court.

President Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. And so there is a hope by the other side that there are five justices now that would overturn Roe vs. Wade, or at least eviscerate it so much so that there really isn't the right to abortion left anymore.

EMERSON
Well as you said, President Trump has made overturning Roe v. Wade an explicit, almost a campaign promise. But at the same time he's been even critical of the Alabama law. Pat Robertson also came out saying even this is going a little too far. How do you untangle this strategy from the other side?

BRIGITTE
[14:05] Well I would say that's a bunch of lip service, to be honest. I mean really what they're talking about is the lack of a rape exception. So that is really not meaningful in terms of an opposition to the Alabama ban.

I think the Trump administration, we have seen their attempts to ban abortion in the Jane Doe case, for example. This was a case that we led involving an unaccompanied immigrant minor who sought access to abortion. And she came to this country on her own fleeing violence in her home country. And she was in a shelter and discovered she was pregnant and sought access to an abortion. And the Trump administration said that she was prohibited from leaving the shelter, from accessing abortion. And so I believe that the Trump administration would do to everybody seeking access to abortion what they did Jane Doe if they could.

EMERSON
Well as you said, over your almost 20 years working on this issue, things do feel different now. It seems as if there's been a strategic shift for opponents of abortion. They were chipping away at Roe v. Wade bit by bit as much as they could. And it seems as if — and you can correct me if this is wrong — but it seems as if they're now going all in and they are playing all of their cards, so to speak. They may be overplaying their cards, though, just banking on the five Supreme Court justices. If they've changed their strategy, have you had to change your strategy, as well?

BRIGITTE
Yes and no. I mean, we always will have to fight the restrictions and the chipping away that you've talked about that's happened over years. But now, we're seeing their true colors and now we can say we know that this has been their goal all along. They may have talked about these restrictions in terms of protecting women's health. We knew that was bogus then, and now we can say, “Look, it was bogus.” And one of our clients in Alabama, Dalton Johnson, who runs a clinic there said in some ways, it's a relief. It's a relief now that we can just say that what we've been telling you all along is true — what they want to do is ban abortion.

And they've done that now.

EMERSON
And does it all rest in the hands of the five justices at the end of the day?

BRIGITTE
[16:01] Well certainly, with respect to Roe versus Wade, it does. But there is so many other ways to protect abortion that people can engage in. And so we see at the state level, pushing their politicians to hold them accountable, make sure that they will pass measures to protect access to abortion. In state constitutions, we've been seeing the right to abortion recognized. For example, the Kansas Supreme Court just issued a ruling saying that in their state constitution, abortion would be protected. So while we will fight to ensure that Roe vs. Wade is upheld, there is a tremendous activity that can happen at the state level that people should be engaged in to protect access to abortion.

EMERSON
Well I'm not a big fan of war analogies in general but a lot of people have described this assault on abortion rights as a part of a war on women. Is this a part of a larger trend of things that you see in the political landscape?

BRIGITTE
Absolutely, and I want to take a pause to note that explicitly that there are people other than women who seek access to abortion — trans men, non binary individuals. So want to explicitly acknowledge that there are other people than women who seek access to abortion.

But you know, why I do this work and why I kind of came to this work is because I've always seen that controlling access to abortion and contraception is a way of controlling women's ability to be equals in society. And I think it's all part and parcel of the attempts to have women fit some stereotype about what their role in society should be, and that is mothers, not working, you know, in the home. And it's this very retrograde idea of women's role in society. So I think if you look at all the other things that are going on, all the other fights that, you know, we're having here at the ACLU about protecting women, protecting LGBT individuals, protecting the right to privacy, it's all connected.

EMERSON
Well there's the question of law. There's the question of science around viability. But as you just stated it's really also a question of culture. And one of the other issues that you've been addressing in your work is the role that religious exemptions and other sorts of conflicts between freedom of religion and the right to privacy. Can you talk a little bit about that work?

BRIGITTE
[18:13] Sure, absolutely. So we have worked on a interdisciplinary way with the LGBT department and women's rights and our religion project to really try to address this issue of the use of religion to discriminate against other people or to take away their rights. And so I've been doing a lot of that work with respect to access to contraception and the use of religion to try to eliminate insurance coverage for contraception that is otherwise guaranteed by law. So I was involved in the Hobby Lobby case, coordinating the amicus efforts, writing our brief, explaining to the Supreme Court this long history of the use of religion with respect to discrimination.

EMERSON
And the Hobby Lobby case, can you just give us the one sentence on that?

BRIGITTE
Sure. So the Obama administration, as part of the Affordable Care Act, passed a measure to ensure access to contraception with no cost in any plan that was covered by the Affordable Care Act. So anyone who had a health plan that was included in the Affordable Care Act had coverage for all methods of contraception, all prescription methods of contraception without cost. And a number of entities, including Hobby Lobby sued, saying that it was against their religion to include contraception in their employees’ health plan.

So it was a decades long battle that still rages today about whether employers can use their religion to take away contraception coverage in an employee's health plan. And the Trump administration has tried to memorialize that in a new rule basically rolling back the Obama era rule, and we're involved in those fights to to block that. And right now there's a couple of lawsuits that we've been helping out with — in Pennsylvania and in California — that have blocked the Trump administration's attempt to roll back the Obama contraception coverage requirement.

EMERSON
[20:04] Well there's an almost dizzying array of kinds of restrictions on abortion. One other that I think is particularly interesting is the waiting periods and the other ways that the conversations that a person seeking an abortion has are policed. Can you talk a bit about those types of restrictions, as well?

BRIGITTE
Sure. And actually, this is a good way to also talk about the moment of history that we're in now and where we were in 1992, when a similar issue was presented to the Supreme Court.

So the Supreme Court said in 1992 in a case called Planned Parenthood versus Casey that states may enact waiting periods between a time when they receive information that is promulgated by the state and then the abortion. We think a lot of that information is biased and designed to try to convince a woman who is seeking access to abortion not to have that abortion. And we think that's very problematic. And then, after receiving that information, she must wait 24 hours before getting the abortion.

The Supreme Court in 1992 upheld this restriction and said it did not — at least in Pennsylvania — create an undue burden. That case is incredibly important for a couple of reasons. That was the last time in our history where people thought that Roe versus Wade might be overturned, and it almost was. And a lot has been written about the history of what was going on behind the scenes in 1992. And Justice Kennedy basically switched his vote. There was a plurality decision upholding the fundamental right to abortion, but really watering down the test for abortion restrictions to be evaluated under.

And the Supreme Court in 1992 upheld a mandatory waiting period, this mandatory biased counseling, parental involvement for minors. The only thing that they struck down was a requirement that a woman tell her husband that she was seeking access to abortion. That's the only restriction that got struck down. And then for decades, we had to live with a watered down test of evaluating abortion restrictions and all of these restrictions that we were not able to strike down have piled on top of each other, pushing abortion care out of reach for so many people.

EMERSON
[22:17] Well and I've heard that because of the 24 hour waiting period, some of the clients in Kentucky who've traveled long distances ended up sleeping in their cars in the parking lot in order to wait out the clock, which seems to be the very definition of an undue burden before Casey moved that goalpost.

BRIGITTE
Yeah. Whether it's the substantial obstacle that's placed in the path of people seeking access to abortion and also just the dignity of any other medical procedure. Imagine the government forcing you to wait 24 hours to travel so far and then to be forced to sleep in your car in order to get the procedure. We wouldn't stand for that.

EMERSON
Unthinkable. Well it's interesting, I want to come back to the point you made that the one thing that the Supreme Court in Casey did strike down was the requirement that a person seeking an abortion tell their husband. And this sort of calls back to Griswold, which is the difference in how married women have been treated versus other people who are seeking an abortion.

BRIGITTE
Yeah it's interesting, and going back to Griswold versus Connecticut, which was the Supreme Court decision that established a married couple’s right to privacy to use contraception, that was later extended by Eisenstadt versus Baird in the 1970s to single people. But you're right that the right to privacy was about this like intimate married couple personal decision making and that's kind of the genesis of it.

And the Planned Parenthood versus Casey decision strikes down the spousal notice provision largely because of domestic violence. The court says that, you know, in a healthy marriage most women will tell their husbands that they're seeking an abortion and then it will be a discussion and a decision jointly. But there are some relationships that aren't like that and it will be devastating, dangerous, and even deadly to women who are in abusive relationships if they're forced to tell their husband that they're seeking access to abortion.

EMERSON
[24:13] Well knowing that the Supreme Court historically has had this orientation sort of working from a baseline of the nuclear mother-father family — and obviously that is not a unique perspective to the Supreme Court — is there any way that you tailor your arguments or pick your clients to try to appeal to those types of interests? Or do you just say they're wrong from the get go?

BRIGITTE
They're wrong from the get go is what we say. And you know, we don't necessarily want to feed into that belief that only certain people in certain relationships should be able to get access to abortion or contraception. We think everybody should have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health care. They can consult whomever they want obviously in the process, and most people do consult their most trusted companions, but that should not be dictated by the government.

We want to ensure that everybody has access to abortion, contraception. And when we bring these cases, we're usually bringing them on behalf of the providers, on behalf of their patients.

EMERSON
You mentioned that the reason that you came to this work is the impulse to protect autonomy and equality for people who may become pregnant. But now you've been doing it for almost 20 years and I can't imagine that it's an easy way to spend your days. How do you maintain your optimism, maintain your your drive in the face of all these obstacles?

BRIGITTE
In some ways, I'm compelled to do this work. I can't even describe it. You know, even on the days when I'm the most tired I can't imagine doing anything else. I can't imagine spending my day any other way. I feel so viscerally drawn to this work in a way that sometimes I can't even really articulate. But I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing this work in this particular moment.

[25:59] I am definitely tired. I think that, you know, it's funny when people say that I've been working tirelessly, as you do. I really appreciate that but I'm like, I don’t know...

EMERSON
No, I’m tired.

BRIGITTE
I'm tired. But I keep going. And I feel like we don't get the luxury of being tired. We sit in this position of being able to use our tools to help people and that's what we do.

EMERSON
Well you’re inspiring all of your colleagues here in the building, but I know you're also inspiring a lot of people around the country. And I wonder if you have any advice for somebody who wants to pick up this battle and be the next Brigitte Amiri.

BRIGITTE
Yeah, absolutely. That's great because we need all the help that we can get. I would say start with your local community, start with thinking about how you can help the organizations on the ground, and there's so many ways to do that.

So I would contact your local abortion provider. I would talk to your local abortion fund, your local reproductive rights organization, and say, “How can I get involved? How can I volunteer? How can I donate? How can I become part of the movement?”

You don't just have to be a lawyer to do that. There's so many ways to do that, and we really need everyone's voices. Contact your elected officials. Tell them this is how you're going to make your decisions about voting in the next election. And we really hope that everybody engages. Like I said, it's an all hands on deck moment.

EMERSON
Well and there are states as you mentioned that are are pushing back in a positive direction, including Vermont and Nevada who recently passed bills protecting the right to abortion. I don't know if they've been passed all the way through the final stage, but at least they've made it through the first stages.

BRIGITTE
Yeah. Yeah. And also you know, this is something that's incredibly important, too, that if the worst case scenario happens — if Roe vs. Wade is overturned and states are making their own decision about whether to allow access to abortion — obviously about half the states will continue to allow abortion. And we want to make sure that those states have as few or no restrictions on access to abortion, so then when people come to those states they're able to get access to care easily.

So Maine is a perfect example of this. They just passed a law repealing the requirement that only doctors provide abortions to allow advanced practice clinicians to provide abortions, as well. So expanding access to abortion in the states that will become haven if Roe vs. Wade is overturned is a deliberate part of our movement's strategy.

EMERSON
[28:17] Yeah I mean with this wave of new laws — not the progressive ones but the restrictive ones — and the prospect of possibly Roe v. Wade being overturned... I know you have talked a lot about that's not the only thing going on, we shouldn't ignore all the other developments and just be worried about Roe v. Wade, but as you said that's kind of the worst case scenario.

On the other hand, the good news is that two thirds of Americans want Roe v. Wade to stay in place. And I also read that 80 percent want abortion to stay legal in some form. So given the variety of legal challenges, the not entirely promising prospects at the highest court in our land, meanwhile we have this groundswell of people who desperately want to protect the right to abortion, what's the path to victory, however narrow it may be? What do you see as the possible way forward to achieve a future that you'd like to see?

BRIGITTE
I think we have to fight at every level, both in terms of fighting the defensive fights and then fighting the offensive fights. And we need to make sure that everybody is engaged in this issue. Protecting the right to access abortion at the state level, telling your local politician that you don't want to see these restrictions, that you want to see abortion protected, is incredibly important.

There are measures at the federal level to do that, as well — Women's Health Protection Act, for example.

You're absolutely right that the vast majority of people in this country want Roe vs. Wade to be upheld. They want to see abortion access in this country. One in four women in this country access abortion in their lifetimes. This is health care, and it's important health care, it's critical health care, and everyone can do their part to make sure that people are able to get it.

EMERSON
Well we know that ACLU supporters are fired up and ready to go. I know this is an extraordinarily hectic time so we appreciate you taking the time and for all your work. Thanks very much, Brigitte.

BRIGITTE
[30:06] Thanks Emerson.

EMERSON
Thanks very much for listening. If you'd like to hear more conversations like this one, please be sure to subscribe to At Liberty wherever you get your podcasts and rate and review the show. We really appreciate the feedback. Till next week, peace.

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