Panel Discusses Abortion Rights: Litigation, Legislation, and Liberation at ACLU-DE CLE Event
WILMINGTON — Within hours of the ground-shaking Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, people seeking abortions across the nation were being turned away from their appointments, left to figure out how they would receive the healthcare they desperately needed — and were constitutionally guaranteed to receive just one day before. In the same moment, Delaware expanded access and was touted as a “safe haven” for abortion in media coverage nationwide.
At a panel event tonight, experts on reproductive health, rights, and justice discussed abortion access in Delaware and nationwide, and where we can go from here to fortify protections in our state to protect access for Delawareans — and our neighbors — who need it.
“Delaware has codified abortion rights and taken important steps towards increasing access,” said Shané Darby, founder of Black Mothers In Power. “But we can, and should, do more to expand those protections — not only for Delawareans seeking abortion care, but for anyone who cannot obtain a legal abortion in their own state.”
Steps toward protecting and expanding abortion access that the panel discussed include:
- Expanding access to abortion by allowing Medicaid funding for abortions;
- Requiring private insurance to cover abortion care without imposing out-of-pocket expenses;
- Removing parental notification laws to ensure that every person who needs abortion access can do so independently and confidentially; and
- Electing lawmakers who are committed to protecting access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care.
Other panelists at this event included Elisabeth Smith, director, state policy & advocacy, Center for Reproductive Rights, Susan Cohen, vice president for public policy (retired), Guttmacher Institute, and Kelly Nichols, nurse practitioner, Planned Parenthood of Delaware.
This event was sponsored by ACLU-DE’s Amicus Society, a membership-based group that brings together attorneys focused on protecting and expanding civil liberties in Delaware. Paid CLE credit tickets were offered to attorneys in attendance (free to Amicus Society members).
Attorneys who joined this event were given important background on this issue, knowledge to bring into their own work on reproductive health care cases, and encouraged to use their power to fight against abortion bans on the national and local level.