Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Federal Court Protects Access to Abortion Care for Women Prisoners in Missouri
Great news from the 8th Circuit on the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:
ST. LOUIS, MO – In a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal appeals court in Missouri today upheld a ruling allowing women prisoners in Missouri to obtain timely, safe, and legal abortion care ....
In 2005, prison officials in Missouri went to extreme lengths to deny a woman prisoner abortion care. The ACLU asked a court to require the prison to transport the woman for an abortion as they would for all other serious medical needs. When the court ruled that the prison must transport the woman to a nearby health care facility, the state unsuccessfully asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene; the woman received the care she needed.
The ACLU then had the case certified as a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all incarcerated pregnant women in Missouri seeking abortions. In July 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri ruled that women prisoners do not lose their constitutional right to abortion care. Today’s decision affirms that ruling....
In a similar ACLU case, Doe v. Arpaio, an Arizona court of appeals held last year that women in a county jail could not be denied timely and safe access to abortion care. The county has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
Today’s decision was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit in the case of Roe v. Crawford, et al., No. 06-3108. Lawyers on the case include Kasdan and Talcott Camp of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, Anthony Rothert of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, and Thomas M. Blumenthal cooperating counsel for the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.
Read the ACLU's full press release.