When they attack, we fight back. For months we’ve been standing up to threats against women’s health from Congress, the Trump administration and, of course, extreme Republican governors and state legislators.
That’s why we’ve gone to court to defend safe, legal abortion access in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, and Indiana. In these states, GOP lawmakers have passed harmful laws that target abortion access in a variety of cruel ways. So guess what? We’re suing.
The legal action we’re taking sends a clear message to extremists: access to safe, legal abortion is basic health care and a constitutional right.
We broke down the legalese to show you what’s at stake.
The state: Missouri
Their law: This year, Gov. Eric Greitens called a special legislative session to further the state’s extreme and ideological agenda to end abortion access. The restrictions that got passed — some of which were just upheld by a state judge — are disastrous for women.
The law includes restrictions that ignore standard medical practice. Just to access safe, legal abortion, women are required to make two separate appointments with at least a 72-hour delay in between.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
Extremist Missouri legislators also tacked on a restriction that requires the very same physician who will later provide the abortion to also provide mandated information at least 72 hours earlier. And when the patient is finally allowed to access the abortion, only the doctor that the patient saw 72 hours earlier can perform the procedure.
The restrictions in the bill are as confusing, dangerous, and medically-unnecessary as they sound. But in October, a Missouri state judge refused to strike them down down after we filed suit.
The harsh reality of this ruling is that women in areas like Springfield will be forced to make a 300- to 400-mile round trip twice to a health center that provides abortion, rather than making their initial visit at a local health center (as they could prior to this law). Others could see extreme delays up to four weeks, or be cut off from care entirely.
And it doesn’t end there. Another restriction passed by extremist Missouri lawmakers forces medication abortion providers to make a “complication plan.” This so-called plan requires providers to contract with an OBGYN with hospital admitting privileges — even if the provider is an OBGYN themself. This is a TRAP restriction.
“Complication plans” fly in the face of patients’ constitutional rights to safe, legal abortion services. After all, the Supreme Court has ruled that restrictions like this are unconstitutional, and similar requirements in Missouri have already been stopped by state judges.
Our legal action: We’ll never stop fighting to protect Missouri women’s constitutional right to a safe, legal abortion. And we also just filed a second lawsuit challenging the “complication plan” under the newly enacted law. Planned Parenthood’s doors always stay open for our patients, and we’re not giving up until these cruel laws are struck down.
The state: Indiana
Their law: This widely sweeping, horrifying bill — signed into law in March 2016 by then-governor Mike Pence — is a smorgasbord of anti-women rules. This bill, among other things, forced women to get an unnecessary ultrasound 18 hours ahead of getting abortion and mandated that fetal tissue must be buried or cremated following the procedure. These are unwarranted, heartless rules that make getting a safe, legal abortion a lengthy and difficult process for women.
Then-governor Mike Pence signed this horrifying bill into law.
Our legal action: We challenged this ridiculously dangerous bill. And we weren’t the only ones — the ACLU and Indiana University sued, too.
And guess what? We’ve been victorious in our fight for women’s health. A federal judge in Indiana ruled that the restrictions we’ve challenged violate the Constitution, and now an appeals court will consider them.
The state: Arkansas
Their law: Back in 2015, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a dangerous TRAP law that would eliminate safe, legal abortion access in all but one health center in the state. It would also completely end access to medication abortion — a safe, early, and effective form of abortion — for women in the state. Similar to Missouri’s law, this would force women to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion, a trip they have to make twice because of another Arkansas law — if they can access one at all.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Our legal action: In a disastrous turn for women’s health, the Eighth Circuit court ignored our demand to shut down this harmful law. But the fight is far from being over yet. Soon, we’ll be taking this fight to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States has already ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that a similar Texas law is unconstitutional and are medically unnecessary. We’re more determined than ever to stamp out this law once and for all. As Cecile Richards puts it, “this dangerous ruling cannot and will not stand.”
The state: Iowa
Their law: In May, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a politically motivated, anti-women bill into law. Similar to the horrors passed in Arkansas and Missouri, Branstad’s legislation would force Iowa women to wait 72 hours and make two trips to her doctor just to access safe, legal abortion — pretty similar to the other awful laws we talked about earlier.
Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad signed disastrous legislation into law this past spring.
Our legal action: We challenged this dangerous law, and the trial court ruled against us. As we pursue an appeal, the law isn’t in effect — and we’re doing everything we can to make sure it never does.
Safe, legal abortion access is under attack like never before
Extreme state lawmakers will stop at nothing to take away a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion. Learn more about the restrictions and bans that might affect you in your state.LEARN MORE