Yesterday the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the state of Missouri regarding a woman’s right to abortion in prison. The original case against the state, Crawford v. Roe, stemmed from a 2005 incident where Missouri prison officials denied a female inmate transportation to an abortion facility. ACLU sued on behalf of the inmate, “Jane Roe,” who eventually received medical treatment.
In July 2006, the ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of all female prisoners seeking abortions in Missouri. In the class-action lawsuit, a Missouri District Court ruled that incarceration does not deny women’s rights to an abortion. The Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision.
Reproductive Freedom Project attorney Diana Kasdan said in an ACLU press release following the Circuit Court Decision, “Today’s decision is consistent with rulings from across the country that women prisoners do not lose their reproductive rights once they are incarcerated. Prison officials must ensure that women have access to the full spectrum of pregnancy-related care, including abortion.”