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.
- Minnesota Reformer: Opinion – Minnesota must prepare for its role in a post-Roe world
- Philadelphia Inquirer: Opinion – Opinion – A governor’s veto pen is the only thing standing between Pa. and Texas-style abortion laws
- Star Tribune: Abortion rights supporters say Minnesota shouldn’t take its protections for granted
- The Morning Call: Texas-like abortion restriction law seen as ‘terrible sign of things to come’ or ‘necessary to save lives’ in Pennsylvania
- Star Tribune: Minnesota braces for influx of out-of-state abortion patients
- Spotlight PA: What Texas’ New Abortion Law Means For Pennsylvania
- Mac Weekly: Macalester students stand up for reproductive freedom
- CBS Pittsburgh: Texas Abortion Law Has Ramifications In Upcoming Pennsylvania Elections, Both Sides Say
- Star Tribune: DFL state lawmakers form new Reproductive Freedom Caucus
- KTOE: Opponents rally at MN Capitol against Texas abortion ban
Bringing Medicaid abortion ban case to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
A group of Pennsylvania-based abortion providers represented by attorneys from the Women’s Law Project; law professor David S. Cohen; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and a private law firm filed their opening brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, asking the Court to strike down the Pennsylvania ban on Medicaid coverage for abortion.
“This case seeks to restore equitable health care coverage that was lost due to discriminatory political interference from the state,” says WLP staff attorney Christine Castro. “The lawmakers who advanced this ban into law clearly declared that, if it was legal, they would’ve forced all Pennsylvania women to carry pregnancies against their will. Instead, they targeted women in poverty, which disproportionately harms Black women, immigrants, and people of color. The ban is cruel, and it’s also unconstitutional under the Pennsylvania Constitution.”
Calling for workplace accommodations for pregnant and lactating Pennsylvanians
Pennsylvania’s “pro-life” leadership has blocked Senate Bill 716, which would make it unlawful for an employer to refuse an employee’s request for reasonable accommodation, unless doing so would represent an undue hardship to the employer.
See Five Questions about Lactation & Breastfeeding Rights with WLP Attorneys Margaret Zhang and Sophia Elliot for more info on why this is a public health, economic justice, and racial equity issue and check out WLP’s Twitter thread from the committee hearing.
Opposing anti-trans legislation targeting student athletes in Pennsylvania
The Women’s Law Project is fighting recently introduced legislation that targets gender-diverse teen and child student athletes in Pennsylvania, sending a letter to members of the Pennsylvania House Education Committee imploring them to oppose the legislation. WLP litigation includes the representation of women athletes who have been denied athletic opportunities at their schools in violation of Title IX, the Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Securing coverage of prenatal care for undocumented immigrants in Pennsylvania
Women’s Law Project has won approval from the PA Governor’s Office and Department of Health to expand the state CHIP program to include prenatal care for pregnant people ineligible for other medical assistance due to immigrant status.
Upholding constitutionality of clinic buffer zones in Pennsylvania
After years of Women’s Law Project litigation, the Supreme Court has refused to hear anti-abortion activists’ challenges to PA buffer zone laws, leaving to stand 3rd Circuit rulings that the Harrisburg and Pittsburgh buffer zones are constitutional.
Preventing defendants from introducing prior prostitution arrests and convictions as evidence of consent in a sexual assault prosecution
On May 18, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania confirmed that the state’s rape shield law does not permit defendants to introduce a victim’s sexual history with third parties, including prior acts of prostitution, as a defense tactic attempting to prove consent.
Prior to the ruling, attorneys at the Women’s Law Project partnered with AEquitas to author and file an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on behalf of 26 additional organizations devoted to improving judicial and societal responses to victims and survivors of sexual abuse in this case (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Eric Rogers). The brief argued that Pennsylvania’s Rape Shield Law does not permit the introduction of evidence of a victim’s criminal record for prostitution-related offenses to prove consent.
“Engaging in commercial sex with other persons, whether by choice or not, has no relevance to the veracity of a rape allegation.” – Terry L. Fromson, WLP managing attorney and co-author of the brief
Filing amicus brief in Pennsylvania case asserting dating violence is a form of sex-based harassment
Women’s Law Project and Public Justice filed an amicus brief with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in a Title IX case on schools’ responsibility to address known dating violence. In this tragic case, a student was murdered by her abuser after her university failed to protect her, despite having knowledge that she was a victim of dating violence. All Alliance members signed onto this brief.