- Six abortion advocacy groups have partnered with a handful of the largest law firms in the U.S. to launch a legal advice program, Abortion Defense Network, for “people facing legal threats related to abortion care.”
- Life Legal Defense Foundation CEO Alexandra Snyder told the Daily Caller News Foundation that many of these legal firms have shielded Planned Parenthood from “criminal activity” for decades.
- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Friday that the state would work with the Abortion Defense Network to “connect Washingtonians to these important legal services.”
Six abortion advocacy groups have partnered with public officials and some of the nation’s largest law firms to launch the Abortion Defense Network, a program that connects people seeking or providing abortions with legal advice, representation and resources.
The program, managed by the Lawyering Project, is a joint partnership between the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), along with a number of private law firms and public agencies “committed to safeguarding abortion,” according to the NWLC. The program offers funds to cover attorney fees “and other legal expenses in criminal and civil proceedings.”
“Anyone in the U.S. working to provide or support abortion care can seek legal assistance from the Abortion Defense Network,” the NWLC news release says. “People will be matched with values-aligned attorneys and be provided with information and resources to not only understand their rights but fight back against unjust proceedings meant to harass and intimidate them.”
Participating private law firms include Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP; Morrison & Foerster LLP; O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Goodwin Procter LLP; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, which are the 9th, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 35th top US law firms, respectively, according Vault’s Law Firm Rankings for 2022. (RELATED: There’s A New Battlefield In The Fight Over Abortion, And Conflict Is Heating Up)
“Goodwin is one of seven firms partnering with reproductive rights organizations, in which abortion providers will be referred to us so we can help them navigate the various state laws,” a spokesperson for the company told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Alexandra Snyder, CEO of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation many of these firms have been shielding abortion providers from “criminal activity” for decades.
“Pro-aborts have assembled a cadre of white-shoe legal defense firms to relieve them of their responsibilities under the law,” Snyder said. “Many of the firms in the newly created ‘Abortion Defense Network’ have been shielding Planned Parenthood and other abortionists from liability for criminal activity, including selling the body parts of aborted babies, for decades. Their lawyers charge upwards of a thousand dollars an hour to ensure that abortionists can continue unabated in their murderous profession.”
On Friday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state would partner with the Abortion Defense Network to “connect Washingtonians to these important legal services.”
The attorney general “convened law firms and advocacy organizations in Washington to ensure that attorneys are available to advise anyone who is seeking legal guidance about providing or receiving abortion care in Washington state,” according to the news release.
“Radical laws in other states are creating chaos for providers, out-of-state patients and individuals assisting their friends and family to access health care,” Ferguson said in a statement. “The changing legal landscape is causing providers and others to question whether they face legal jeopardy by helping someone come to Washington for legal abortion care. This resource will help them navigate these important issues and protect their freedoms.”
Working with the Lawyering Project, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights and dedicated attorneys donating their time, today I announced a website that will connect Washingtonians to pro bono legal counsel for issues related to their reproductive rights.https://t.co/YJ2sjFq0hs
— Bob Ferguson (@BobFergusonAG) February 23, 2023
Snyder pointed out some of the legal challenges pro-life advocates face, noting that the Life Legal Defense Foundation had been involved in a number of cases where “abortion workers have threatened, harassed, and physically assaulted pro-lifers.”
“For example, in one case, an abortion ‘escort’ drove her vehicle into an elderly man who tried to stop her from speeding, blaring her horn, and driving erratically around a peaceful prayer vigil,” she said. “In another case, a pro-abort savagely attacked a pro-lifer on a public sidewalk, pushing him to the ground and mercilessly kicking him…In each of these cases, officials tasked with protecting the public failed to hold the assailants accountable.”
“After attempting to work with prosecutors to seek justice for victims of assault, battery, and other grievous crimes, we sought recourse in civil courts,” Snyder continued. “Instead of acknowledging that violence in and outside abortion clinics is unacceptable, pro-aborts decided to organize a legal defense team so they can use the legal system to justify continued aggression toward those who seek to protect human life.”
The Lawyering Project, Washington Attorney General, ACLU, If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, and Wharton & Garrison LLP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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