Reproductive Freedom

“Few decisions are more personal and intimate, more properly private, or more basic to individual dignity and autonomy, than a woman's decision . . . whether to end her pregnancy. A woman's right to make that choice freely is fundamental.”
— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun,
Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, 1986


Decisions about contraception, marriage, and child-rearing are among the most intimate and important decisions a woman will ever make. Since its inception in 1920, the ACLU has recognized that personal privacy and reproductive freedoms are among our most important constitutional liberties. The ACLU was the first national organization to argue for abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court, and has been the principal defender of those rights since 1973, when the Court recognized the right to choose in Roe v. Wade.

Every person should be able to make informed, meaningful decisions about reproduction free from intrusion by the government. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we aim to protect access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, from sex education and family planning services, to prenatal care and childbearing assistance, to abortion counseling and services.

 

Litigation

Cohen et al. v. Brown

ACLU Challenges Petition to Grant “Paramount” Right of Life to Unborn

Supporters of Initiative Petition 30 (2010), which sought to establish the “paramount” rights of “every innocent life” including the “unborn,” failed to file the required number of signatures before the July 2, 2010, deadline passed, so it will not be on the November ballot.

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Legislation

Anti-Choice Measure Fails to Qualify for 2012 Ballot

July 6, 2012 - We are thrilled to announce that Initiative Petition 25 (IP 25), a dangerous anti-choice constitutional amendment has failed to qualify for the November ballot. Reporting only 70,000 signatures gathered over the last several months, proponents of the measure fell far short of the legally required 116,000 valid signatures. Today’s news shows that Oregonians are committed to women’s health and refuse to support laws that impose government interference on our personal private decisions.

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REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Unconstitutional Restrictions on Abortions (HB 3512) (2011)

HB 3512, sponsored by almost all of the House Republicans, would have prohibited a woman from obtaining an abortion after 20 weeks except in limited circumstances. Banning abortions starting at 20 weeks – which is a pre-viability stage of pregnancy – directly contradicts longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

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Other

Health Care Denial Rule

Thanks to all of you who were among the thousands of Americans who e-mailed the Department of Health and Human Services urging the Obama Administration to rescind Bush's Health Care Denial Rule.

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