Organizations of Women Lawyers Defend Women’s Constitutional Abortion Rights in Joint Amicus Brief Submitted to U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health

September 21, 2021

Willkie served as counsel for amici on the brief.

On September 20, more than 30 organizations of women lawyers and future legal professionals, led by three notable U.S. organizations of women lawyers, submitted an amicus brief in support of respondents in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which could overturn Roe v. Wade and the almost 50 years of constitutional jurisprudence guaranteeing reproductive freedom to women.

Led by Women Lawyers On Guard, National Association of Women Lawyers and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and submitted by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP as counsel for amici, the brief lays out what is at stake if the Supreme Court overturns or weakens Roe. Women and their families, including women attorneys, have relied heavily on the constitutional guarantee of the ability to decide whether to have an abortion when exercising autonomy over their lives, health, families and futures. Loss of the rights guaranteed by Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey would decimate women lawyers’ ability to advance their careers and achieve gender parity in the legal field.

The brief specifically highlights the central role that Roe’s and Casey’s constitutional right to bodily autonomy has played in the advancement of women in the law, as well as the steep hurdles still faced by female lawyers generally—and especially female lawyers of color and those with children—that will only become harder to surmount if that right were revoked or weakened.

The amicus brief is also signed by nearly 30 other organizations dedicated to supporting women lawyers and law students.

Women Lawyers On Guard Inc. (WLG) is a national, non-profit organization that seeks to harness the power of lawyers and the law to preserve, protect, and defend the democratic values of equality, justice, and opportunity for all. The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“WBADC”) is one of the oldest women’s bar associations in the country. Since 1917, it has advocated for the advancement of women in the profession and upheld its mission to maintain the honor and integrity of the legal profession, promote the administration of justice, advance and protect the interests of women lawyers, promote their mutual improvement, and encourage a spirit of friendship.

The Willkie team is led by partner and lead counsel on the brief Heather Schneider and included counsel of record Mia Guizzetti Hayes. The team also included associates Devin Charles Ringger, Ciara Copell, Annie Houghton-Larsen, Michelle Mlacker and Ana Maganto Ramirez.