The Center for Reproductive Rights has taken legal action in an effort to clarify and expand patient rights in states with strict abortion bans.
Planned Parenthood sued for injunctive and declaratory relief in federal court on Wednesday over the Idaho Attorney General's assertion that the state's criminal abortion law prohibits medical providers from referring women to access abortion services outside the state.
Five women and two obstetrician-gynecologists sued Texas on Monday to clarify an exception to its near-total abortion ban that allows medical professionals to provide abortions in life-threatening emergencies.
Yelp, Apple, Citigroup, and other major companies seek to ease access to abortion services for employees who live in states with tight restrictions, such as Texas.
Abortion rights activists and providers filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, challenging Texas Senate Bill 8. S.B. 8 bans abortion in Texas after approximately six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue any abortion provider or individual who violates the law.
Last week, Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California joined federal courts in New York and Washington state in striking down the Denial of Care Rule put forth by the US Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year. Judge Alsup declared the rule, which would permit health care workers to decline to provide services, care, or information to patients due to the worker's personal religious or moral beliefs, discriminatory and unconstitutional.
On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, Judge Myron H. Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama granted a preliminary injunction in Robinson et al v. Marshall, a lawsuit challenging Alabama Act No. 2019-189. The statute imposes criminal liability on abortion providers for almost all abortions, whether completed or attempted, regardless of fetal viability. The preliminary injunction prevents enforcement of the statute only as applied to pre-viability abortions. The statute is set to go into effect on November 15, 2019.
California has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Northern California to challenge a new regulation the Trump administration plans to enact in order to block access to abortion and family planning services. Specifically, the case seeks to enjoin new rules adopted under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, a family planning program funded by the federal government. Oregon, Washington, and approximately 20 other states are expected to file suit as well.
Last week, the federal government issued a rule to withhold federal funding for family planning from groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals. To receive federal funding, clinics will need to physically and financially separate any services that receive government funding from organizations that provide abortions or referrals.