The U. S. Justice Department announces the establishment of the Reproductive Rights Task Force

The U. S. Justice Department announces the establishment of the Reproductive Rights Task Force

The Reproductive Rights Task Force has been established, according to a statement from the Justice Department. The Task Force formalises an existing working group and the Department’s efforts over the last few months to find methods to safeguard access to reproductive health care in the event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The Task Force will be chaired by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and will include representatives from the Department’s Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney community, Office of the Solicitor General, Office for Access to Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Legal Policy, Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of the Associate Attorney General, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, and Office of the Attorney General.

“As Attorney General Garland has said, the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision is a devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States,” said Associate Attorney General Gupta. “The Court abandoned 50 years of precedent and took away the constitutional right to abortion, preventing women all over the country from being able to make critical decisions about our bodies, our health, and our futures. The Justice Department is committed to protecting access to reproductive services.”

The Task Force will monitor and evaluate all state and local legislation and enforcement actions that threaten to:

  • Infringe on federal legal protections relating to the provision or pursuit of reproductive care;
  • Impair women’s ability to seek reproductive care in states where it is legal;
  • Impair individuals’ ability to inform and counsel each other about the reproductive care that is available in other states;
  • Ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy; or
  • Impose criminal or civil liability on federal employees who provide reproductive health services in a manner authorized by federal law.

The Task Force will identify such actions and coordinate appropriate federal government responses, such as preemptive and defensive legal action, as needed. The Task Force will collaborate with federal agencies across the government to assist their work on reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare.

The Justice Department is collaborating with other parties such as reproductive health care professionals, advocates, and state attorneys general. The Task Force will continue its vital work. It will also collaborate with the President’s Counsel’s Office to organise a meeting of private pro bono attorneys, bar associations, and public interest organisations to encourage lawyers to represent and assist patients, providers, and third parties seeking reproductive health services across the country.

The Task Force will concentrate online legal materials, such as submitted Justice Department legal briefs and information concerning the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, to help attorneys seeking to defend access to comprehensive reproductive health care.

Recognizing that congressional action is the greatest approach to guarantee reproductive freedom, the Task Force will also organise technical support to Congress in conjunction with federal legislation to codify reproductive rights and assure access to comprehensive reproductive care.

It will also coordinate the provision of technical support related to Federal constitutional safeguards to states seeking to give legal protection to out-of-state patients and providers of lawful reproductive healthcare.

»The U. S. Justice Department announces the establishment of the Reproductive Rights Task Force«

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