Reproductive Rights in the Time of COVID-19

By Autumn Katz, Managing Senior Counsel, U.S. Litigation and Nimra Chowdhry, State Legislative Counsel, U.S. Policy & Advocacy Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, NY

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many state officials implemented emergency orders responding to this unprecedented public health crisis.  The ostensible purpose of these orders was to reduce the impact and stop the spread of COVID-19.  While some states have expanded or protected access to essential abortion care during this time, others sought to use the pandemic as an opportunity to ban some or all abortions.  Lawsuits filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lawyering Project, pro bono law firms, and local attorneys were largely successful in blocking these harmful measures and restoring access to abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, the fight to preserve abortion access is far from over.

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