In September 2021, LDF joined an amicus brief with 17 other civil rights organizations in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which directly challenged Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Together, those cases confirmed that the Fourteenth Amendment’s liberty interest includes the right to physical autonomy without government interference. Thus, the Court previously affirmed and reaffirmed that pregnant people have a right to choose to seek abortion care up to the point in pregnancy when a fetus becomes viable, which is usually around 24 weeks into the pregnancy. Only after that point in the pregnancy can the state limit or prohibit elective abortions.
The amicus brief highlights that substantially limiting access to late-term abortions, as the Mississippi law and other anticipated laws throughout the country would do, would inflict grievous harm on Black and low-income people in particular, who have relied on the right to an abortion—and the right to access abortion later in pregnancy—at higher rates than other groups.