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Washington, D.C. — Today, Nicole Berner — an outstanding lawyer with commitment to public service, a labor rights advocate, and a former Planned Parenthood litigator — was nominated by President Biden to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. While at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Berner litigated cases protecting medication abortion in Ohio, defending the rights of young people to access abortion in Missouri and working to increase abortion access in New Mexico, among other projects. If confirmed, Nicole would be only the third out lesbian on any U.S. circuit court and the first to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, celebrated her nomination: 

“Nicole Berner’s nomination to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is historic and well-deserved. She knows firsthand the evolving state of our nation’s reproductive and other fundamental rights.”

“We need judges who have a demonstrated commitment to protecting the inherent right to equality under the law and the right to make our most personal decisions, including whether to have an abortion. It is also essential that our courts reflect the diversity of this country — and we know that diversity makes our judiciary and the country stronger.”


Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.