Legal Restrictions

The U.S. Legal Department strives to protect and advance reproductive liberty and access to reproductive health care in the United States by employing diverse strategies grounded in CRR's legal expertise.

To learn more about the different areas of our work, please check out our U.S. litigation, advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and the states, U.S.-based human rights work, and our Law School Initiative.

The Center's litigation work in the United States seeks to broadly promote reproductive rights. Our goals include:

  • Securing recognition that reproductive freedom is both a fundamental constitutional right and a human right that the government is obligated to respect, protect and fulfill;
  • Ensuring that all women have access to safe and affordable contraception;
  • Protecting women’s access to safe, legal and affordable abortion services;
  • Ensuring that adolescents have access to reproductive health services; that adolescents’ confidentiality is protected in their pursuit of those services; and that adolescents have access to age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education;
  • Defending abortion providers against unreasonable government actions

En Vedette

Warning: Pregnancy May Be Harmful to Your Civil Rights

“At no point in her pregnancy should a woman lose her civil and human rights,” assert the authors of a recent op-ed in the New York Times

Unhealthy Initiatives

This Election Day, November 4, three states will be voting on ballot initiatives that would dangerously restrict access to legal abortion services. Here’s what’s at stake and what you can do.

Colorado

Hodes & Nauser MDs, P.A., et al. v. Schmidt, et al.

In 2013, Kansas passed a law containing more than a dozen harmful measures, including redefining what constitutes a medical emergency in a way that would require many pregnant women in life-threatening situations that include hemorrhage and serious infection to wait at least 24 hours before

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

June Medical Services v. Caldwell

Louisiana passed a law in 2014 requiring every doctor who provides abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of where the abortion is performed.

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

MKB Management, Inc. v. Burdick

In 2013, North Dakota passed a blatantly unconstitutional ban on pre-viability abortion that would prohibit abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.  Physicians violating the ban would face up to five years in prison.

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

Edwards v. Beck

In 2013, Arkansas passed a blatantly unconstitutional ban on abortion beginning as early as twelve weeks into a pregnancy.  The law requires that a doctor perform an ultrasound prior to terminating a pregnancy and attempt to detect a “heartbeat.”  The Arkansas law then prohibits

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest v. Streur

In 2001, the Alaska Supreme Court held that withholding state Medicaid coverage for abortions while covering all other medically necessary care, including for pregnant women, violated the equal protection clause of the Alaska Constitution.  The Court held the state must fund all

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

Whole Woman's Health v. Lakey

In 2013, Texas passed House Bill 2, a sweeping measure that imposes numerous restrictions on access to abortion, including a requirement that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals and a requirement that every health care facility offering abortion services meet

Status: 
Open
Owner: 
The Center

Historic Hearing on the Hill

At the end of June, the Center for Reproductive Rights led an energized group of women’s health advocates to Capitol Hill to lobby for a piece of legislation called the Women’s Health Protection Act…

Women’s Rights Leaders Talk to Cosmo

Three prominent voices of the women’s reproductive rights movement knock it out of the park in a compelling interview over at Cosmopolitan.com this week…

Our Work in Focus

In the United States, state legislatures wield enormous power to control women's access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare services…
In their efforts to make abortion inaccessible to as many women as possible, anti-choice forces have focused on burdening minors' access to abortion…
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that bans on abortion are unconstitutional…
Biased counseling laws, on the books in many states, require woman seeking an abortion to receive information dictated by the state prior to undergoing the procedure…
Laws that restrict the use of public funds for abortion can create barriers to women’s abortion access that are as difficult for women to overcome as laws that directly restrict the availability of abortion.  Funding restrictions endanger women’s health and, as some state courts have held,…
Human Rights defenders are the activists, including journalists, lawyers, judges, and healthcare providers, whose work allows others to exercise their human rights…
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, that a woman's right to obtain an abortion was protected under the federal constitution…

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