Enabling advanced practice clinicians in Alaska to provide medication abortion

In a strongly worded opinion, the Superior Court in Alaska granted Legal Voice’s request for a preliminary injunction to enable advanced practice clinicians to provide medication abortion, concluding that: 

“Planned Parenthood has shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claim that prohibiting advance practice clinicians from providing medication abortion violates patients’ right to privacy under the Alaska Constitution by significantly restricting the availability of abortions in this state without sufficient justification. The law also likely violates patients’ right to equal protection, since it prevents patients eking abortions from receiving care from advance practice clinicians that patients experiencing miscarriage may receive from the same providers.”

Legal Voice has partnered with Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i. Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky (PPGNHAIK) in challenging Alaska’s “physician-only” law. More information on the case can be found here.

Filing amicus briefs in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health demanding meaningful access to abortion

Gender Justice’s brief makes the case that there is no practical difference between a fifteen-week abortion ban and a total abortion ban, and focuses on the barriers clients of abortion funds and practical support organizations face in accessing care before 15 weeks of pregnancy, forcing many of them to have abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy despite trying to access abortion earlier. 

Legal Voice’s brief focuses on the very real threat that this abortion ban would pose to survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV)—especially to survivors from Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color (BIPOC). 

Mobilizing to protect abortion access in response to TX Senate Bill 8

See Gender Justice’s SCOTUS Chat: Texas Abortion Ban Goes to the Supreme Court on Facebook, where Erin Maye Quade and Jess Braverman unpack the arguments at November’s hearing about SB8.

Read SWLC’s official statement on Texas Senate Bill 8.

Gender Justice and allies organized a Bans Off Our Bodies march and rally, joining thousands of Minnesotans on behalf of reproductive freedom. The events were part of a national day of action to show decision makers in Minnesota that they demand reproductive rights, freedom, and justice. 

“With the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in a new Texas law banning abortion, the Court has sent a clear message: We cannot rely on them to protect our rights.Now is the time to fight harder than ever to protect and expand abortion access in Minnesota.” 

Women’s Law Project also joined allies in hosting their own regional Bans Off Our Body march.

See below for some samples of press coverage highlighting Alliance org leadership in response to the SCOTUS ruling, including op-eds from GJ and WLP.

Challenging Idaho’s “Physician’s Only” Law

In December 2018, Legal Voice, along with Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, filed suit against Idaho challenging the law that prohibits qualified advanced practiced clinicians (APC’s) from providing abortion care.

State defendants have attempted to dismiss Legal Voice’s suit twice; first in 2019 which the court rejected, and most recently by trying to use the SCOTUS decision in June Medical v. Russo to overturn the court’s prior decision.

On September 30th, the Court issued a powerful decision resoundingly rejecting the state’s arguments. Far from throwing the case out, the Court found based on all the evidence, that a reasonable fact finder could conclude that the statute does nothing to advance patient safety; nor does it permissibly advance the State’s “asserted interest in potential life.”

Read more about the case here.

Preventing anti-abortion extremists from harassing patients outside of Planned Parenthood

In June of 2020, Legal Voice and the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, filed a complaint on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho against “The Church at Planned Parenthood” (TCAPP)—a group of armed, anti-abortion extremists who were harassing patients outside of the Spokane Health Center. For over two years, TCAPP was breaking both state and local laws while police officers stood by and refused to hold them accountable. Their behavior significantly interfered with Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide quality health and reproductive health care to community members.

In September of 2021, the court found in favor of Planned Parenthood and granted the request for a permanent injunction, concluding that “[Planned Parenthood] has a clear and equitable right to provide and its patients have clear and equitable rights to seek or obtain health care unimpeded by unlawful acts of others.”

Read more:

Legal Voice’s press release

Filing amicus briefs demanding meaningful access to abortion for all pregnant people

Legal Voice, on behalf of 13 other organizations, submitted an amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear on December 1, 2021. This case, which involves a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, is a direct attack on Roe v. Wade.

Legal Voice’s brief focuses on the very real threat that this abortion ban would pose to survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV)—especially to survivors from Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color (BIPOC).

Read more:

Legal Voice’s update

Preventing abusive litigation against domestic abuse survivors

Legal Voice helped to draft and pass this law to address domestic violence abusers use of the legal system to further victimize their ex-partners and is consulting with other states seeking to adapt this model that addresses the complex obstacles survivors face in court.

“Some domestic violence survivors say they face abuse in the courts, even long after they’ve severed ties with their partner. A new Washington law, which took effect Jan. 1, seeks to stop what’s known as “abusive litigation.” Catherine West is an attorney with the advocacy group Legal Voice. She said a survivor of domestic violence can be continually dragged into court by an ex-partner, ostensibly to challenge a protection order or child custody agreement. But, West said, the real purpose is often just to get the survivor in the courtroom. “They have to confront their former partner. It’s really a way of continuing to exert control.”

New law targets abusive litigation by domestic violence perpetrators. -National Public Radio

Helping pass legislation to ensure access to gender affirming care in Washington

In coalition with state legislatures, community leaders and community-based organizations, Legal Voice successfully advocated for the passage of SB 5313, the Gender Affirming Treatment Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that works to eliminate insurance coverage discrimination for trans people by preventing insurance carriers in WA state from automatically denying medically necessary gender affirming care as cosmetic.

Litigating impact cases to challenge discrimination against trans youth athletes

Legal Voice and Gender Justice cases (Hecox v. Little and Cooper v. USAPL) have garnered widespread media coverage and support from health care, women’s rights, and civil rights organizations and current and former athletes, including Billie Jean King and Megan Rapinoe.

“Trans women belong in women’s sports, and their right to compete is supported by the International Olympic Committee, the International Powerlifting Federation’s Executive Committee, as well as federal and Minnesota state law,” Jess Braverman, legal director at Gender Justice, said in a statement. “USA Powerlifting’s ban on transgender athletes is not only illegal, it’s also rooted in outdated gender stereotypes that harm all women athletes.”

Transgender athlete sues after being excluded by USA Powerlifting. – The Hill

Winning legal challenge to religious group’s claim of ministerial exemption to discriminate against employees due to sexual orientation

Legal Voice was co-counsel in the case challenging Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission after they told lawyer and longtime volunteer Matt Woods not to apply for an attorney position in their Open Door Legal Services program because of his sexual orientation. The Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Woods, making it clear that religious employers do not have the unfettered right to discriminate against a group of people based on their belief systems.

Read Legal Voice’s press release for more information.


The CPC Industry as a Surveillance Tool of the Post-Roe State

Continue to the site