Lift pursues impact litigation in defense of reproductive rights and provides legal advocacy for patients and providers. Lift provides these services to eligible healthcare providers and patients using strategies developed by an advisory board of diverse legal experts.
Lift Louisiana’s litigation program provides critical legal representation for reproductive rights by protecting clinics from closing, protecting providers from losing their licenses, and defending people's ability to access reproductive healthcare. Visit our "In The Courts" page to learn more about Lift's current involvement in legal cases.
Lift provides legal advocacy support to minors seeking abortion care; and in 2017, Lift began exploring the policies guiding reproductive healthcare provision for incarcerated women.
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In 2017, Lift established its legal advocacy programming with the Louisiana Judicial Bypass Project (LJBP). Under Louisiana law, pregnant minors seeking abortion services must obtain written consent from their parent or legal guardian, unless a judge grants permission through a process known as judicial bypass. The LJBP’s website guides visitors through the steps required to petition a judge for permission to obtain an abortion. Through the website or a free hotline, minors can connect with volunteer attorneys who will help with filling out the required paperwork, making sure everything is ready for the hearing, and understanding what steps to take following the hearing. In addition to collaborating with law students from Tulane University Law School’s chapter of If/When/How, Lift also held trainings for staff at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Women’s Health Care Center, and Delta Clinic and held information sessions with four youth serving organizations. The LJBP now has 12 attorneys in the New Orleans area trained to provide free legal representation to minors seeking an abortion who cannot obtain parental consent. In an effort to boost these numbers over the long-term, Lift has received approval to offer 1.5 CLE credit for this training. In recognition for its involvement in the issue, Lift was included on a panel about Judicial Bypass along with If/When/How, Advocates for Youth, and Jane’s Due Process at the October 2017 SisterSong National Conference held in New Orleans.
Healthcare for Incarcerated Women
In 2017, Lift began exploring the policies guiding reproductive healthcare provisions—including pregnancy related care—for incarcerated women in Louisiana’s prisons and jails. Lift initiated a public records request for these policies in all 64 Parish jails and the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC). The review revealed significant inconsistencies in policies across facilities, and many of these policies did not comply with either LDOC policy regarding pregnancy management or RS 15:744, the Safe Pregnancy for Incarcerated Women Act. Lift has used these findings—as well as a thorough review of best practices in pregnancy care for incarcerated women—to develop non-biased, educational materials for lawmakers, partners, and legal professionals.
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