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Safeguarding Reproductive Rights

In a defining moment for reproductive rights in America, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022) marked a pivotal turning point. This ruling, revoking the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), catapulted the nation into a new era of legal challenges. It shifted the authority to individual states to regulate aspects of abortion not protected by the law. In response to this seismic shift, Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG), in partnership with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, initiated a vital project.

Recognizing the urgent need for accessible, up-to-date legal information for health care providers, lawyers, and advocates, this collaboration aimed to develop a comprehensive, 50-state legislative resource. The Policy Resource Hub (the “Hub”) was envisioned as a guiding light in the intricate legal terrain that emerged post-Dobbs.

In late June of 2022, L4GG reached out to Mintz Pro Bono Committee Chair Susan Finegan for help creating the Hub. She swiftly mobilized a highly knowledgeable team led by Members Karen Lovitch and Lauren Moldawer, alongside Associates Jeannie Mancheno, Jane Haviland, Xavier Hardy, and Of Counsel Cassie Paolillo. The group focused on Maryland, a state with progressive reproductive laws yet surrounded by neighboring states with starkly different legal landscapes.

Beginning in the fall of 2022, the team dove deep into Maryland’s legislative framework. They meticulously unpacked the nuances of its abortion laws, including regulations, prohibitions, limitations, and shield laws. The launch of the Hub in November 2023 marked a significant milestone not only for L4GG and Mintz but for the nation as a whole.

Mintz’s commitment, however, extends far beyond the Hub’s launch. The team remains actively engaged, monitoring and updating legal developments in Maryland daily to ensure the Hub remains a precise and reliable resource. At Mintz, our pro bono partnership with the Center for Reproductive Rights and our collaboration with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s Abortion Legal Hotline have deepened our dedication to advocating for reproductive rights. Mintz’s history of involvement rendered us a natural collaborator for this ongoing endeavor. 

Xavier said, “The reason I wanted to be involved in the project was because it was an opportunity to use the same skills I often deploy for clients, such as tracking legislation and regulatory changes, and apply it towards an issue I find to be extremely important — reproductive rights. In the aftermath of the Dobbs, I’m sure plenty of Americans were interested in ways to support reproductive rights initiatives, and I’m glad that L4GG provided an outlet for me to do so. Beyond that, I find the way L4GG has set up the updates — with the state tracking spread among a large number of lawyers at various firms — to be a good model for how an organization can leverage the resources of the legal community to support important advocacy work.”

Jeannie said, “After the Dobbs decision, it was abundantly clear that state legislative and regulatory landscapes surrounding reproductive rights were about to undergo drastic and frequent change. The resources that L4GG provides can help people navigate and understand these rights. Personally, it is rewarding for me to support L4GG on this necessary and important project.”

Jane said, “I appreciate the opportunity to work on a project that gives health care providers current and crucial insight into the laws in every state. This insight allows providers to safely care for patients and advocate for equitable reproductive health.”

Driven by an unwavering dedication to safeguarding abortion rights, Mintz continues to be a leading force in this critical field of advocacy, inspiring change and championing justice.

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