Concerning the Alabama COVID-19 Executive Order severely restricting abortion access under the guise of restricting non-emergency medical services.
- Reproductive Rights
- Authored Amicus Brief
Summary of the Case
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Alabama (among many other state governments interested in restricting or banning abortion access) issued a COVID-19 Executive Order under the guise of a generally applicable restriction on non-emergency medical services, that would severely restrict abortion access, with disproportionate harms to marginalized populations. The District Court issued a preliminary injunction, permitting abortion access to continue during the COVID crisis. Alabama sought an emergency stay of the injunction at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (“Eleventh Circuit”).
Our Role in the Case
Legal Momentum, along with NOW, Feminist Majority, and Covington & Burling filed an amicus brief in the Eleventh Circuit in support of the plaintiffs as the Eleventh Circuit considered the State’s application for an emergency stay. Our brief focused on the history of violence and harassment against abortion providers aided by the government machinery and the disproportionate impact of abortion restrictions on victims of domestic and sexual violence and women of color. The Eleventh Circuit denied the State’s application and agreed to expedite the merits appeal. However, in the interim, the Executive Order expired and the appeal was dismissed as moot. A subsequent executive order has been instituted in its place and the Plaintiffs are currently evaluating whether it also restricts abortion access and must be challenged.