On Friday, the ACLU of Nebraska filed a federal lawsuit seeking emergency action on behalf of an incarcerated woman who is being blocked from accessing abortion care. The woman is incarcerated at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW).
ACLU argues in its lawsuit that the state official’s policy violates the woman’s constitutional right to access abortion. The lawsuit seeks an emergency order to allow the woman immediate access to abortion care through a local healthcare provider.
Scout Richters, Legal Policy Counsel with ACLU of Nebraska, said that the state’s action threatens the woman’s rights, digity, and health.
“State officials are barring a woman from getting an abortion and forcing her to remain pregnant against her will. It’s wrong and it’s unlawful,” Richters said. “All of us, including our client, have the right to make our own decision about whether and when to become a parent. We’re taking this to court to ensure she can get the care she needs as soon as possible and to make sure officials never again show such blatant disregard for the people in their custody and care.”
Deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project Brigitte Amiri said, “The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services’ decision to prevent our client from accessing abortion is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Every court to consider this issue has held that the right to abortion survives incarceration. We hope the court will act quickly so that our client can get the care she needs.”
This case comes over a decade after Roe v. Crawford (2008), where the ACLU filed lawsuit and successfully allowed for an incarcerated woman to the access abortion care she sought.
Sources: ACLU Nebraska 4/9/21; ACLU 1/22/08