Reproductive Rights legal cases handled by the NASW Legal Defense Fund

person holding placard that reads: My body my choiceHere is a list of reproductive rights legal cases handled by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) NASW Legal Defense Fund.

McRae v. Mathews (U.S. Dist. Ct, E.D.N.Y., 421 F. Supp. 533 (E.D.N.Y. 1976))

Case Desc.: Challenge to Federal Appropriation Act that denied funding to indigent, pregnant women for elective abortions
NASW Supported: McRae
Outcome: Won/Favorable.
Date Brief Filed: 10/1/1976 12:00:00 AM Stay Denied: 11/8/1976
McRae v. Mathews, 421 F. Supp. 533 (E.D.N.Y. 1976) :: Justia

Right to Choose v. Byrne (N,J. S. Ct., 450 A.2d 925 (1982))
Case Desc.: N,J. challenge to state law prohibiting state-funded elective abortions
NASW Supported: Right to Choose
Outcome: Mixed: Ct. found NJ restriction on medically necessary abortions unconstitutional, but found it permissible to prohibit elective, nontherapeutic abortions
Decided: 8/18/1982Right to Choose v. Byrne :: 1982 :: Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions :: New Jersey Case Law :: New Jersey Law :: US Law :: Justia

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (U.S. S. Ct., 492 U.S. 490 (1989))
Case Desc.: Missouri abortion rights case
NASW Supported: Reproductive Health Services, et al.
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable.
Date Brief Filed: 3/30/1989 12:00:00 AM Decided: 7/3/1989
Webster v. Reproductive Health Svcs. :: 492 U.S. 490 (1989) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (U.S. S. Ct., 497 U.S. 502 (1990))
Case Desc.: Constitutional challenge to Ohio parental notification requirement for minors seeking abortions
NASW Supported: Akron Center for Reproductive Health
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable.
Date Brief Filed: 9/1/1989 12:00:00 AM Decided: 6/25/1990
Ohio v. Akron Center :: 497 U.S. 502 (1990) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Weeks v. Connick (U.S. Dist. Ct, E.D. La. E.D. Louisiana, 733 F. Supp. 1036 (E.D. La. 1990))
Case Desc.: Louisiana case clarifying repeal of criminal abortion statutes
NASW Supported: Weeks, et al.
Outcome: Won/Favorable.
Date Brief Filed: 11/13/1989 12:00:00 AM Decided: 1/23/1990
Weeks v. Connick, 733 F. Supp. 1036 (E.D. La. 1990) :: Justia

Rust v. Sullivan (U.S. S. Ct., 500 U.S. 173 (1991))
Case Desc.: Challenge to federal regulations prohibiting abortion counseling and referral in Title X family planning programs
NASW Supported: Rust
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable.
Date Brief Filed: 7/27/1990 12:00:00 AM Decided: 5/23/1991
Rust v. Sullivan :: 500 U.S. 173 (1991) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Doe v. Babcock (Michigan S. Ct., 487 N.W.2d 166 (Mich. 1992))
Case Desc.: use of public funds to pay for an abortion not necessary to save the mother’s life
NASW Supported: Doe
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable. Date Brief Filed: 10/9/1991 Decided: 6/9/1992
Doe v. Dep’t. of Social Services, 487 N.W.2d 166, 439 Mich. 650 – CourtListener.com

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (U.S. S. Ct., 505 U.S. 833 (1992))
Case Desc.: Abortion rights case
NASW Supported: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Outcome: Mixed.
Date Brief Filed: 3/6/1992 12:00:00 AM Decided 6/29/1992
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey :: 505 U.S. 833 (1992) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center

Hope v. Perales (New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 595 N.Y.S.2d 948 (N.Y. App. Div. 1993); rev’d, 83 N.Y.2d 563 (1994))
Case Description: Constitutional challenge to state law providing women with prenatal services, but denying funding for abortions
NASW Supported: Hope
Outcome: Won, but case was later reversed on appeal.
Date Brief Filed: 2/3/1992 12:00:00 AM Decided: 5/5/1994
Hope v. Perales :: 1994 :: New York Court of Appeals Decisions :: New York Case Law :: New York Law :: US Law :: Justia

Rosie v. North Carolina Department of Human Resources (North Carolina Supreme Court, 491 S.E.2d 535 (N.C. 1997))
Case Description: Challenge to North Carolina policy of funding childbirth expenses but not abortions for indigent women
NASW Supported: Rosie
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable.
Date Brief Filed: 7/22/1996 12:00:00 AM Decided: 10/3/1997
ROSIE J. v. Dept. of Human Resources :: 1997 :: North Carolina Supreme Court Decisions :: North Carolina Case Law :: North Carolina Law :: US Law :: Justia

State v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska (Alaska Supreme Court, No. S-11365, 171 P.3d 577(2007))
Case Description: Challenge to judicial bypass procedure for minors seeking abortions
NASW Supported: Planned Parenthood of Alaska
Outcome: Court granted relief and held that Parental Consent Act violated state constitution.
Date Brief Filed: 10/1/2004 Decided: 11/2/2007 Rehearing Denied: 12/14/2007
STATE v. PLANNED PARENTHO | 171 P.3d 577 (2007) | 1p3d5771748 | Leagle.com

Roe v. Crawford (United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, No. 06-3108) (United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 514 F.3d 789 (8th Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 76 U.S.L.W. 3646 (U.S. Oct. 6, 2008)
Case Description: Missouri inmates’ sought access to abortion services.
NASW Supported: Roe, et al.
Outcome: Court granted relief.
Date Brief Filed: 12/11/2006 Decided: 1/22/2008

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest v. State of Alaska (S. Ct. of Alaska, Nos. 15010, 15030, 15039)
Case Desc.: Legal challenge to Alaska’s parental notification law for minors seeking abortion.
NASW Supported: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest
Outcome: Pending.
Date Brief Filed: 5/10/2013 12:00:00 AM

Hopkins v. Jegley (U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 17-2879)
Case Desc: The Center for Reproductive Rights’ challenge to four Arkansas laws that would ban 2 of the most common methods of abortion and a woman’s right to choose would be subject to prohibitive types of consent requirements.
NASW Supported: Plaintiff/Appellee, Hopkins
Outcome: Pending
Date Brief Filed: 3/5/2018 12:00:00 AM
NASW and other amici filed an amicus brief in Hopkins v. Jegley, that is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The case involves the Center for Reproductive Rights’ challenge to four recently enacted Arkansas laws that have not yet been implemented as the result of a preliminary injunction. If implemented, the two most common methods of abortion would effectively be banned in Arkansas and the woman’s right to choose would be subject to prohibited types of consent requirements. The amicus brief provided information to educate the Eighth Circuit on how the four challenged laws disproportionately affects victims of rape and domestic violence and how they particularly disproportionately harm minors.

Hope Clinic v. Adams (Supreme Court of Illinois, Decided as Hope Clinic v. Flores, 2013 IL 112673; 991 N.E.2d 745)
Case Desc: Illinois case challenging parental notification law for minors’ access to abortion.
NASW Supported: Hope Clinic
Outcome: Lost/Unfavorable – 7/11/2013 Court held that parental notification law was not unconstitutional.
Date Brief Filed: 7/18/2012 Decided: 7/11/2013
The Hope Clinic for Women, LTD v. Flores, 2013 IL 112673 (justia.com)

Cochran v Gresham (and consolidated cases) (U.S. Supreme Court 20-37 & 20-38)
Case Desc: Challenge to Health and Reproductive Rights under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
NASW Supported: Respondent Gresham
Outcome: Abeyance
Date Brief Filed: 2/24/2021 Decided: 4/5/2021
Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Org. (U.S. Supreme Court No. 19-1392)
Case Description: Abortion
NASW Supported: Jackson Women’s Health Organization
Outcome: Pending
Date Brief Filed: 9/20/2021

Whole Woman’s Health v Jackson
Case Description: Abortion
NASW Supported: Whole Woman’s Health
Outcome: Pending
Date Brief Filed: 10/27/2021
(U.S. Supreme Court 21-463)

On October 27, 2021, NASW and 10 other civil rights organizations joined in an amicus brief led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in the Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson case filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. This case involves Texas’s Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and allowing private citizens to enforce the law by suing anyone who performed, aided, or abetted an abortion in violation of the ban. The brief aptly describes this as “a scheme of state-sanctioned private vigilantism [designed] to prevent Texans from exercising their fundamental rights.”

The sole question before the Supreme Court at this point is whether Texas can insulate SB 8 from federal court review by replacing state enforcement with civil actions by private citizens. Our brief contends that if the state’s arguments are successful, this enforcement scheme presents an immediate and serious threat to Texans’ constitutional rights. Even worse, permitting Texas to evade review here would open the floodgates for states to enact laws violating civil and constitutional rights while preventing their timely challenge in federal courts. This could gut the effectiveness of “section 1983” litigation, a critical tool to assure redress to individuals for deprivation of their civil rights under color of law.

The NASW Texas Chapter has been a tremendous advocate around this issue, opposing the bill and providing guidance to Texas social workers whose work is threatened by this law. The Chapter’s efforts include facilitating a recent conference panel on the issue, producing two fact sheets for members, taking an active role in coalitions, and serving as a resource for other groups. A member of the NASW Texas Chapter has also filed a lawsuit against the bill and a MoveOn.org campaign was created to support those efforts.

Also, here are the NASW Texas Chapter resources on this issue:

SB 8 Guidance_Part2 Sept 2021
SB 8 Guidance Aug 2021