The Center for Reproductive Rights has joined with five other leading reproductive rights organizations to launch the Abortion Defense Network, a new program to connect people facing legal threats related to abortion care with attorneys who will provide legal advice and representation.
Designed for both abortion providers and those seeking abortion care or who recently had an abortion, the Abortion Defense Network aims to ensure that people have access to the legal resources they need to navigate the confusing and hostile post-Roe legal landscape.
The Abortion Defense Network will be managed by the Lawyering Project and run in partnership with the Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), and Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD).
Users will get answers to questions about legal rights, locating abortion care, and finding funds for legal and other expenses, including:
- Legal rights pertaining to providing or supporting abortion care.
- Threats of arrest, prosecution, or other legal action related to abortion.
- How to access organizations that provide funding to cover attorney’s fees, bail and bond fees, and other legal expenses.
“The overturning of Roe v. Wade has unleashed nonstop legal chaos and confusion,” said the Center’s President and CEO Nancy Northup in a press announcement. “Abortion providers, doctors, and even family members of people seeking abortion care are unsure what they might be prosecuted for. Many states have conflicting and overlapping abortion bans that make it nearly impossible to know what is legal and what is not. People are worried they may be prosecuted even for helping someone find abortion services across state lines. This initiative brings together some of the best lawyers in the country to provide legal advice, as well as criminal and civil defense.”
After submitting information to the Abortion Defense Network, users will be contacted by an attorney navigator from the Lawyering Project, who will assess their needs and connect them with a legal service provider. Attorneys will provide legal advice and representation in civil and criminal proceedings, and many have agreed to donate their services for free.
In addition to the reproductive rights organizations, the Abortion Defense Network collaboration includes state and regional public interest organizations, private law firms, and public agencies committed to safeguarding abortion access. It encompasses some of the nation’s largest and most esteemed private law firms, including Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Goodwin Procter LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP.
“In this daunting post-Roe reality, we want everyone to have legal support and to know their rights,” added Northup.