June 24, 2023 marked one year since the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overruled the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional right to abortion. Since that decision, many pro bono volunteers have sought out opportunities to participate in reproductive rights pro bono.
On February 24, at the 2023 PBI Annual Conference, we hosted a session on Post Roe Reproductive Rights & Pro Bono, taught by Ronald Blum, Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; John Freedman, Senior Pro Bono Counsel at Arnold & Porte; Rabia Muqaddam, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights; and Katie Niejadlik, Associate Director for Pro Bono Services at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The session examined how law firms and other pro bono leaders can effectively engage to help address the crisis of judicial and legislative limits on abortion access, and its impact on poor and BIPOC communities. This program is available on West LegalEdcenter, and PBI Annual Conference attendees may contact PBI at firstname.lastname@example.org for a discount code to view the program at no charge.
Now, on the occasion of the Dobbs anniversary, Katie Niejadlik, Associate Director for Pro Bono Services at the Center for Reproductive Rights, shared these updates with The PBEye:
On June 22, 2023, the Center for Reproductive Rights held a Virtual Town Hall that should be of great interest to PBI audiences! You can access the Town Hall on The Forward Fight landing page. Scroll halfway down to page to find the Town Hall, and you’ll find the passcode needed to access the video located on the same page. The “After Roe Fell” map, which the Center discussed during the presentation, is also an excellent resource, and is updated in real time.
In addition to watching this update, the following are tangible ways the Center recommends you can get involved:
- Learn about abortion laws and policies in your state and across the country.
Get up to speed with the Center’s After Roe Fell: Abortion Laws by State map and other tools, resources and analyses, and sign up for email updates to stay in the loop.
- Get loud about abortion rights and access.
Talk about your support for abortion rights and access with people in your circle. Conversations with friends, family, colleagues and community members are often influential.
- Tell your elected officials to restore your rights.
Urge your Congressional representatives to support the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would reestablish our nationwide right to abortion. And don’t forget to contact your state representatives, who now have significant power when it comes to protecting reproductive rights in your state.
- Follow the Center on social and spread the word.
Join a community of like-minded reproductive rights supporters on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and share our content with your networks. You can also text FORWARD to REPRO (73776) to receive updates in real time about our work.
- Help provide on-the-ground support to clinics and people seeking abortion care.
Support small, community-based abortion clinics that provide most of the abortion care in the U.S. at KeepOurClinics.org and abortion funds that provide transportation, lodging and financial support to people seeking abortion care at AbortionFunds.org.
We are inspired by the work of the Center for Reproductive Rights and the many pro bono volunteers who partner with them on The Forward Fight.