The Future of Roe: Upcoming Cases Challenging Abortion Rights

 

We have previously talked about how the Trump administration is working to reshape the federal judiciary by implementing anti-choice and anti-science judges throughout the judiciary system in the U.S. Today, Brigitte Amiri with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks to us about important abortion-related cases that are currently working their way through the court system, and how these cases may have the ability to impact abortion access around the country.

While Roe v. Wade historically enshrined the ability to access abortion in the U.S. constitution in 1973, it isn’t the only major abortion case that has found itself in front of the Supreme Court. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, the Supreme Court issued another landmark abortion decision and scaled back a facet of Roe v. Wade that prevented individual states from passing restrictions on abortion care. This decision gave states the ability to pass their own restrictions, as long as they didn’t pose a substantial obstacle in the path of those seeking care. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ restrictions on abortion providers and ruled that they created an undue burden for those needing an abortion.

Donald Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court Justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade, and with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, there are now five out of nine conservative-leaning justices on the bench. Brett Kavanaugh’s poor record on abortion began with the Trump administration’s attempt to ban abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors. Recently, an immigrant minor in Texas who had received a judicial bypass for an abortion had been challenged by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Trump administration in her attempt to receive abortion care by preventing her from leaving the shelter for any abortion-related appointments. Brett Kavanaugh, through the D.C. Court of Appeals, ultimately wrote an asinine ruling that ignored the fundamentals of Roe v. Wade.

There are a number of states that are currently involved in litigation due to abortion limitations that add undue burden onto women seeking care and the medical professionals who are providing it, and a number of states that are in the process of attempting to pass six-week bans on abortion. These states include Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and Missouri, among various others. Six weeks is before many people even know they are pregnant.

It’s likely that, through these cases, there will be a continuous undermining and weakening of Roe v. Wade, and would create a new standard of abortion restrictions that would close clinic doors or eliminate access entirely on a state-by-state basis.

Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

Transcript

Jennie Wetter: Welcome to rePROs Fight Back a podcast on all things repro. I'm your host Jenny Wetter. In each episode, I'll be taking you to the front lines of the escalating fight over our sexual and reproductive health and rights at home and abroad. Each episode, I will be speaking with leaders who are fighting to protect our reproductive health and rights to ensure that no one's reproductive health depends on where they live. It's time for repros to fight back.

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Jennie Wetter: Welcome to rePROs Fight Back. On a previous episode, we talked about how the Trump administration is reshaping the federal judiciary today. With that in mind, we're going to take a look at some of the important abortion related cases that are currently working through the court system to explain the cases we should be keeping an eye on. I'm excited to have with me today, Brigitte Amiri with the ACLU. Hi Bridgitte. Thanks for being here today.

Brigitte Amiri: Hi, thanks so much for having me.

Jennie Wetter: So I thought before we get to the current cases and what's working its way up, maybe we should just talk a little bit about what the current, um, lay of the land is, what abortion law looks like right now. And I think most people are familiar with Roe v Wade and maybe less familiar with some of the other, um, supreme court rulings like Casey or Whole Women's Health.

Brigitte Amiri: So let's go through the major supreme court decisions on abortion of the last, uh, 40 decade or 40 years, the last four decades. Um, but it'll be fairly quick. I mean, obviously everyone knows Roe versus Wade and people associate, um, the Supreme Court decision, uh, with, uh, the ability to access abortion and the right to abortion in the Constitution. And that's certainly a, the, the, the framework, um, that we start from. So in 1973, the supreme court found, uh, that the right to abortion is constitutionally protected in the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. And it, uh, overruled, um, a number of, uh, abortion restrictions, um, that were in place at the time that criminalized abortion and, uh, basically made abortion legal, um, for the first time, um, in the United States across the country. Uh, there's obviously a lot of history leading up to Roe that we won't necessarily get into, but it builds off of the right to contraception and right to privacy and number of states had already started reversing their abortion bans, um, in their states. And um, and then the supreme court for the entire country said that it was illegal to ban abortion under the constitution. There were a number of cases between a Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey in 1992 but 1992, the supreme court issued another landmark abortion decision and scaled back on what they said in Roe versus Wade. In Roe v Wade, they said that abortion is a fundamental constitutional right and any abortion restriction, uh, had to be considered under the highest level of scrutiny for the courts, making it very difficult for states to pass restrictions on abortion. Uh, but in 1982, the supreme court said that states could actually pass restrictions on abortion as long as they did not impose a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking abortion. And that is then the new standard in 1992 that people used to evaluate whether an abortion restriction was constitutional or not.

Brigitte Amiri: So abortion is still a fundamental right. It's still protected in the Constitution. But the test that courts use to assess whether a particular restriction violates the Constitution is whether it imposes an undue burden or in other words, imposes a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking abortions. And, and, uh, there have been obviously a lot of cases about what does that mean? And, uh, then, uh, in 2016, uh, the Supreme Court decides Whole Women's Health, um, versus Hellerstedt and, uh, the case coming out of Texas, um, about, uh, doctors having an admitting privileges, um, and whether abortion facilities, um, must meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. And the Supreme Court, uh, clarifies what it says in Casey in the sense that it says that when courts consider restrictions on access to abortion, um, they must assess the benefits of the law to women's health and balance that against the burdens imposed on women. And in Whole Women's Health, they did that balancing test and concluded that the elimination of abortion clinics in Texas, uh, in large numbers, uh, was incredibly burdensome. And the benefit, the medical benefit of having admitting privileges was slim to none. And so it struck down the Texas law. Uh, so that, that all builds on, um, uh, other cases that have come between those landmark cases. Um, but that's where we are now.

Jennie Wetter: Um, I think that it's important background cause I feel like a lot of the conversation we hear is really focused on Roe. And what states have really been targeting for years is Casey.

Brigitte Amiri: Well, and also too, I mean I think that they've also been chipping away in these really insidious ways that I think a lot of people don't know about. Since 2011, there've been 400 abortion restrictions passed in various states across the country. And, uh, now we're seeing more direct attacls on Roe in terms of attempts to ban abortion. Um, but literally since the day that Roe versus Wade was decided, states have been trying to find ways to close clinic doors, reduce the availability of abortion providers, shame women and providers, shame people who seek abortion and uh, make it more difficult for them. And that has been their tactic, um, for over 40 years now. And you know, in a lot of places, um, it's as if Roe v Wade was never decided. Roe does not mean anything if there isn't the availability of a provider. And, um, there are several states now where there's only one abortion clinic because of these restrictions, um, that have built on top of each other that have eliminated abortion access, uh, in the state to the point where there might be only one provider.

Jennie Wetter: Yeah. And they tend to build on each other. Like a lot of that is in the South. So you have states near each other that only have one. So you don't have really have another alternative for somewhere to go.

Brigitte Amiri: Well, well that's right. And uh, also everybody should be able to get the care that they need within their state and not have to travel out of state. Uh, and it's really frightening, um, that in the several states that there's only one abortion provider, um, and in the South, but also the Midwest, Kentucky, Missouri, um, only have one abortion provider, uh, North Dakota, South Dakota only have one abortion provider, Mississippi only has one. Uh, so, uh, you know, they're somewhat, um, scattered. And then when you look at the map and you see the, the states that are, uh, adjacent to these states, um, that are, uh, also trying to restrict abortion. You know, Kentucky has one abortion clinic remaining. In the 1970s, in the 1970s, after Roe was decided, there were 17 abortion providers or hospitals that provided abortion. And now today there's only one place where you can, can get an abortion, and that's the BMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville. And the idea that, you know, putting aside that everybody should be able to get the care that they need in their state. Um, if you look at the map, uh, there are a number of restrictions trying to close clinics in Indiana, Ohio. Uh, Tennessee, the house just passed a six week ban. Um, Ohio is poised to pass a six week ban, um, as well. Uh, so it's, uh, oh, there's one, one provider in West Virginia, um, which also borders Kentucky. Uh, so it's really, really, really a difficult picture when you look at it from that bird's eye view.

Jennie Wetter: So I'm originally from Wisconsin, so I've been watching, um, access dwindle in Wisconsin too. Hopefully that'll change with the new governor, but I think right now, Wisconsin has three clinics left and they're all in Madison and Milwaukee, which is very southern Wisconsin. There are large swaths of the state that don't have access.

Brigitte Amiri: That's right. And I think that's a really important point that, um, that where clinics have been able to remain open, they have been in, uh, uh, urban areas. And so for rural women in particular, low income women, um, marginalized communities, it makes it very, very difficult, um, to travel to, um, the abortion provider, um, in an urban center because people lack the money to do so. They can't take time off of work. Um, they can't find childcare to care for their existing children while they make the journey. And that's, uh, an a, an incredibly important picture of the difficulty in accessing abortion today.

Jennie Wetter: So moving forward to talk about the cases. So a lot of the cases were really aimed at trying to find where Justice Kennedy was on, where was he placing undue burden. That was kind of what the aim felt like for a long time, but everything changed last year with the appointment of Justice Kavanagh. Um, so it's good to now move forward and, and start looking at what some of these cases that are coming through the pipeline could mean going forward with this change in the judicial landscape.

Brigitte Amiri: As you know, President Trump vowed to appoint justices that were committed to overturning Roe versus Wade. And, uh, the, that is a deep concern that now that there are five out of nine votes to overturn Roe versus Wade. And nobody has a crystal ball and we don't know exactly what will happen, um, in the future when one of these cases gets to the Supreme Court for consideration. But it's really frightening in terms of what the possibilities are. And, uh, we're uh, you know, obviously, um, you know, involved in litigating a number of cases, some of which may get to the Supreme Court and, uh, uh, what the court will do with them. It is really kind of anyone's guess. Um, there've been a couple of small clues that people are trying to draw from and I think that reading, trying to read those tea leaves is, uh, not necessarily helpful. Like it doesn't really tell us that much. Um, so, you know, the Supreme Court has, um, denied review in a couple of abortion cases. Um, but I don't think that necessarily means that they're not going to accept a case at some point. Uh, and, uh, either weaken, the right to abortion or overrule Roe. And quite frankly, the, one of the really concerning possibilities is that the Supreme Court is going to weaken Roe versus Wade, allow, um, some of these restrictions to just stand on the books, eliminating abortion access in some states, but not saying that they are actually overruling Roe. And so I think everyone really just needs to be paying very close attention to not just the direct assaults on Roe and the possibility of Roe being overturned, but Roe being gutted such that it really means that there is no access in some states.

Jennie Wetter: So I think one of the places to start with some tea leaf reading is one that is very close to Justice Kavanaugh and then very close to you because you were, one of the lawyers arguing it. And that's the Justice for Jane case.

Brigitte Amiri: Yeah, so the Jane Doe case, uh, involves the Trump administration's attempt to ban abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors. These are young people who come to the United States, largely from the Northern Triangle, uh, in Central America and, uh, are looking, um, to flee violence in their home country, sometimes at the hands of their parents. And if they are detained in the United States, they are put under the care of Health and Human Services. And, uh, in September of 2017, uh, we learned from one of our fantastic coalition partners, um, Jane's Due process, um, that there was a young woman in custody, uh, of HHS who was seeking access to abortion. She had gotten a judicial bypass in Texas, um, which is required if you are not able to get your parents' consent, you can go to court and ask a judge to allow you to consent to the abortion on your own if you're a minor. And she had done that, her, that hurdle. Um, and the Trump administration ordered, um, the, the shelter where she was staying, um, to not allow her to leave the shelter for any abortion related appointments. Uh, so we had to file an emergency lawsuit and, uh, and we got a, a quick ruling saying that it was blatantly unconstitutional for the Trump administration to ban access to abortion, um, for this, um, brave young woman and, uh, the government appealed and uh, on the initial appeal panel was then Judge Kavanaugh, um, in the DC court of Appeals. So I argued that case, um, in front of Judge Kavanaugh on two other judges and Judge Kavanaugh, I wrote for two of the three judges, um, after argument saying that the government should be allowed to have more time to find a family member in the United States who Jane could be released to such that she could get the abortion outside of government custody. And that ignored that the government had already been looking for six weeks for a family member for her to be released to and wasn't able to find one that the government had already essentially held her hostage for four weeks after she requested the abortion, pushing her further into her pregnancy against her will and that the government can't ban abortion for anyone. And so Judge Kavanaugh really ignored like the basic fundamental rule of law of Roe vs Wade.

Jennie Wetter: And they definitely seem to be running out the clock to cause, didn't Texas have a 20 week abortion ban?

Brigitte Amiri: That's exactly right. And, and I said that at oral argument and at the time she was about 15, she was, she was approaching 15 weeks. Um, so giving the government 11 days to find another to find a family member. Um, and then at the end of those 11 days, it's not as if Judge Kavanaugh said she could get the abortion. He said that we could start our case all over in District Court, get a new order saying she could get the abortion, which the government could that appeal and make the same or new or different arguments. So we would have to then start the case all over again, which would further run out the clock. And we said that's completely unacceptable. And we asked the full court of Appeals, uh, to overrule Judge Kavanaugh and they did. And, um, and Jane Doe was able to get her abortion, um, about a month after, uh, being delayed by the federal government, uh, in terms of the initial... being blocked initially and then fighting us tooth and nail in court.

Brigitte Amiri: Uh, and so that Judge Kavanaugh decision in a really raised a lot of alarm bells, um, for us, uh, in his appointment process. And we explained that, you know, we were concerned that he would not follow, um, Roe versus Wade. Um, at least not exactly say that, but do this slight of hand, uh, and, and try to say he was following the rule of law, but really, um, not do so. And, um, and so that was, you know, the concern that, that we were raising, um, at the time. And then, um, we can, we can kind of, uh, if that segues into June, I think a little bit if you wanted to talk about June, or I can go back to talk about where the Jane Doe case is. Um, you know, so we, um, there were a number of other young women who came forward, um, until we could get, um, a order that prohibited the government, um, from obstructing or interfering with access to abortion for the entire class of pregnant, unaccompanied immigrant minors in federal custody. Um, so we went to court one by one for each of those, um, young women. There were three other young women in addition to the original Jane Doe. And then in March of 2018, we got an order from the District Court saying that the government was prohibited from interfering or obstructing with access for any pregnant unaccompanied immigrant minor in their custody. And that's when I finally was able to sleep through the night. Uh, and the, and the government appealed that. And, um, uh, we had oral arguments in September of 2018 and we are awaiting a ruling. But, uh, in the meantime, the government is blocked from interfering with access to abortion and, uh, I hope we will win in the court of appeals, but then the government could petition the Supreme Court for review. So to the extent that people are watching, um, what cases might come to the Supreme Court, there is a possibility that, uh, when, when hopefully we win that case, the government will petition for review. Uh, and then, uh, that will be one of the cases to watch in front of Supreme Court.

Jennie Wetter: And then, yeah, you were right. Like the next tea leaf was the Louisiana case. Um, the June case. It was good news, but I, like you said before, I don't know that that bodes necessarily that I think positively going forward if they were to hear the case, it's just temporary good news.

Brigitte Amiri: So the, the, um, uh, June case is the Center for Reproductive Rights TRAP case out of Louisiana and, uh, and uh, it poses very similar questions um, uh, that Whole Women's Health did, um, about doctors, um, uh, who provide abortion must have admitting privileges. And, um, the law was blocked by the District Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, um, reversed that decision and basically tried to get around Whole Women's Health in a very disingenuous way. And, uh, the Center for Reproductive Rights, um, asked the Supreme Court to block the law from taking effect while they petitioned the Supreme Court for review. And, uh, the Supreme Court agreed to do so, um, to prevent the closure of, um, um, all but one abortion provider, um, in Louisiana I believe. But in that tea leaf reading, um, was Justice Kavanagh. Now Justice Kavanaugh who writes a dissent, saying he would allow the law to take effect. And as soon as I read it, I was shocked or not shocked. I shouldn't say shocked. I'm not shocked by much these days. I was struck by how similar his descent in the June case was, um, to what he wrote in Jane Doe, um, this lip service to precedent, uh, this lip service to the rule of law uh, but not, uh, adhering to it. Uh, the Supreme Court had just decided Whole Women's Health in 2016 striking down admitting privileges, finding that there was no medical benefit to have them and finding that it would close clinics. So what is the difference between that ruling for Texas in 2016 and Louisiana in 2019? And the answer is none. And, uh, and the fact that, um, Judge Kavanaugh tries to explain, explain his reasoning away, um, was, uh, a further indication I think of where he's going to be on, uh, abortion restrictions. Uh, Justice Roberts, um, votes, um, with, uh, the majority, um, to, um, to block, uh, the law from taking effect. And so now I think folks are opining on whether Chief Justice Roberts is in, uh, in essence the, the new Justice Kennedy the swing vote, uh, about whether an abortion restrictions should be upheld or not. And I think you're absolutely right to say that this doesn't really tell us much. This was an emergency order about whether a law that was very similar to one that was struck down, uh, three years ago could take effect while the, uh, the Center for Reproductive Rights could petition to the Supreme Court for a review. And it really doesn't tell us anything substantively on how Chief Justice Roberts is going to rule on an abortion restriction when a case comes to the court fully briefed, fully argued on the merit.

Jennie Wetter: No, I think that's right. And I think, you know, it seems like he's the swing in so much as that I think he might have an inclination to be a little more cautious, but not necessarily it like he's already going to be much further left, a right, sorry, not left, right. Of where Kennedy was. So it's not swing in the same way that Kennedy was.

Brigitte Amiri: Yeah. I just think we just don't know. And I think that people shouldn't read too much into this one way or the other. And time, time will tell. And there are number of cases that are in the pipeline. Um, so obviously the Center for Reproductive Rights, uh, you know, it has, will petition for a review in the June case. Um, but um, also there are number of cases that are, are pending in front of the Supreme Court in terms of petitions that are already up there, including an Indiana case, um, brought by Planned Parenthood, um, and the ACLU, uh, challenging a restriction on the reason why women seek abortions for Supreme Court is considering whether to take that case a law with struck down at Indiana thing that it was unconstitutional to ban abortion because, um, a person was seeking an abortion, um, based on, uh, a diagnosis of down syndrome of the fetus. And, uh, the, the Supreme Court hasn't decided whether to take that case or not. Also up for review is our case challenging the Alabama restriction, um, on a method of abortion. The Supreme Court will also consider whether to take that case.

Jennie Wetter: Yeah, I think that you're seeing so many different lanes of attack right now where, um, anti choice advocates are just trying anything they can to try and ban abortion. So we talked a little bit about TRAP laws and there's other trap cases that are pending. There's also method ones that are pending, which you just mentioned. Um, do we want to talk a little bit about, um, the, um, the GMW case, um, for transfer agreements?

Brigitte Amiri: Yeah. And it's actually the, the brief that I'm working on right now is that, is that one, so, you know, Kentucky is a perfect storm of what can happen in the worst case scenario in many ways. Um, so as I mentioned before, Kentucky is down to one abortion provider, UMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, and we have three cases representing the clinic, challenging different abortion restrictions right now that are at various stages in the courts. And, uh, that includes a requirement that abortion providers must have a written transfer agreement with a hospital, which is the case that you mentioned, which is the TRAP case, uh, which we won in the district court after a trial. And, uh, the state of Kentucky appealed at to the sixth circuit and we're in the middle of briefing that right now. Um, the Kentucky also, uh, have a method ban and it would prohibit abortions after about the 15th week in pregnancy. And we had a trial recently in that case and the law is blocked in the meantime. There's also a law that we challenged, um, in 2017, uh, after it was passed by the legislature, uh, that was a mandatory ultrasound requirement and forced the doctor to show the image to the woman and uh, describe the image, um, as well, even if the patient did not want that information. And we got that law struck down in the District Court and, uh, my colleague argued in front of the sixth circuit and we're waiting for our decision on appeal there as well. And uh, the Kentucky legislature is in session and they are very busy trying to pass even more restrictions on abortion. I think that there are about five anti-abortion bills pending right now, um, including a ban on abortion starting at six weeks in pregnancy. So Governor Bevin and, uh, the anti-abortion politicians in Kentucky, uh, are doing everything they possibly can to try to close the last clinic in Kentucky.

Jennie Wetter: So I know there are a number of the six week, um, bans that have been attempted to put in place that have been struck down. Are there any that are seeing movement moving up or has that, have they basically just all been blocked?

Brigitte Amiri: So they've been blocked so far. And then I'll talk about the ones in the, in the, in the work. So a number of years ago, North Dakota had a six week ban that a Center for Reproductive Rights challenged and struck it down. Um, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that it was unconstitutional and the Supreme Court denied review. Um, that was, uh, I think about three years ago, Iowa passed a six week ban and, uh, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa challenged it and just challenged it under the, under the state constitution. And, uh, got it permanently blocked by the trial court and the state has not appealed. So that six week ban in Iowa is struck down. Mississippi passed this legislative session, a ban on abortion starting at six weeks. It does not take effect until July 1 absent, you know, court challenge. Um, so the Center for Reproductive Rights, uh, represents the last clinic in Mississippi. And, um, I would, I would guess that they would be challenging that law on behalf of the clinic there. Um, and then, um, there are a number of states that are considering passing six week bans, um, including Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Missouri are the ones that come to my mind off the top of my head.

Jennie Wetter: Yeah. I mean, that one feels the most, um, direct attack on Roe. I mean, six weeks is before most women know they're pregnant.

Brigitte Amiri: That's exactly right. Uh, and you know, they're doing this onpurpose, uh, the, the sponsor of the Ohio Bill has said explicitly that, that she wants this to be a vehicle, um, for the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe versus Wade. And, uh, so this, this, the states are considering passing these blatantly unconstitutional laws as a way of testing directly Roe versus Wade. So we have both these frontal attacks on Roe and the restrictions that chip away at Roe that would eliminate abortion access if they're upheld. And that's why, you know, when we started this conversation, the need for people to be vigilant on both levels is so incredibly important.

Jennie Wetter: Absolutely. Um, yeah, you have the challenges at Roe, the TRAP laws that are trying to close the clinics. There's just so much happening that everyone is so focused on Roe, which they should be. Um, but I think going back to a conversation earlier where Roe is already, in so many places, not the lived reality on the ground, that it doesn't take the overturning of Roe to block people's access to services.

Brigitte Amiri: And that's, that's the reality today for many women and people seeking abortion.

Jennie Wetter: So I think that leads us to the big question that I know there is no answer for. Kind of with what, what you kind of see with the court, would you imagine there would be like a big, just like complete overturning of Roe or do you just kinda see continuing on the path we're on where it's just this death of a thousand cuts?

Brigitte Amiri: Yeah, that's a good question. And I don't know the answer. We don't have a crystal ball, but I, I think it's more probable, at least in the short term for a weakening and undermining of Roe versus Wade and, uh, again, paying lip service to maintaining Rie, but creating a new standard of review for abortion restrictions that allows courts to uphold restrictions that would close clinic doors, eliminate access to abortion in the state entirely, but the having the court just not say that they're overruling Roe. Um, so I think that is more probable in the short term. Um, but you know, we just don't know.

Jennie Wetter: Right. I mean, the good news is you are, with all of these attacks, there are states that are taking positive steps to enshrine Roe within their own state, but so far they've definitely been outnumbered by the states attacking Roe.

Brigitte Amiri: Right. But also, and also, uh, not just enshining Roe, but also making proactive attempt to eliminate all restrictions on abortion, uh, uh, ensure that advanced practice clinicians can provide abortion and addition to doctors. Uh, you know, really just taking down as many barriers as possible, um, in, in those states is also incredibly important and, uh, proactive work that, uh, we all must be committed to doing as well as fighting all of the defensive battles.

Jennie Wetter: Well, that transitions perfectly into, I always like to end with what can our listeners do to fight back? I think you hear about all these horrible things happening and people really would love things that they, actions they can take. So what do you recommend?

Brigitte Amiri: I mean, there's really so much, and I think it depends on what people want to do and where they live and how they want to engage a, obviously if you live in a state that is, um, considering, uh, passing abortion restrictions, get involved in your state legislature. Similarly, if you live in a state where you think that abortion access is on fairly solid ground, um, but you could do more to eliminate, um, any of the barriers that exist, um, to make sure it would be a place where people can come for abortion access and not face obstacles. Um, that's another way to get involved. And so, you know, finding out, um, in your community who's doing that work and plugging in with them, whether it's the ACLU affiliate, the Planned Parenthood affiliate, that NARAL affiliate, uh, as so figuring out, um, those that coalition partners, um, that we have in the states and getting involved in, in the legislative work. Calling your representatives and really engaging in the political process in that, in that way. Um, there's also, um, volunteer opportunities in your community. I think that abortion funds are amazing and are such a critical, important part of people's ability to access abortion, uh, when they don't have the money to do so. So whether it's, um, you know, donate, donate to any of these organizations or volunteering, um, that's another thing that they can do. Um, if you are an attorney and are in a state where there is a parental involvement law, uh, you can volunteer with, uh, an organization to go with, uh, minors to court to, uh, get a bypass of the parental consent requirement. And, uh, as I mentioned, Jane's Due Process in Texas is one of these organizations that works with a network of lawyers, um, to do this. So those are, I think just some of the ways that people can get involved, but I think figure out who's doing the work in your community and, and see how you can be helpful, whether it's volunteering your time, uh, calling your state legislators. Um, and then there's the federal government to what's going on, um, with your, with your senators and your House representatives and making sure that they know where you stand on, uh, on abortion access is incredibly important.

Jennie Wetter: Thanks so much for doing this, Bridgitte. I really appreciate having this talk today.

Brigitte Amiri: Thank you so much for having me.

Jennie Wetter: For more information, including show notes from this episode and previous episodes, please visit our website reprosfightback.com. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter at rePROs Fight Back. If you like our show, please help others find it by sharing it with your friends and subscribing, rating and reviewing us on iTunes. Thanks for listening.