The Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund (Abortion Access LDF) is intended to increase the availability of financial resources to help pay for legal expenses incurred by Abortion Patients and Supporters. The fund is designed to help cover some of the legal expenses incurred by individuals and entities who are facing legal consequences because they sought abortion or helped someone obtain an abortion or information about abortion care and who face a substantial financial hardship.
Attorneys must apply for funding on behalf of their clients. Abortion Patients and Supporters who seek funding for legal expenses should provide their attorney’s contact information or ask their attorney to provide their contact information here.
The Abortion Access LDF is intended to fund cases representing the following:
- Abortion Patients: Any individual who has sought abortion, information about abortion, or assistance obtaining an abortion.
- Abortion Supporters: Any individual or entity that has provided information about abortion to someone seeking abortion; or any individual or entity that has helped someone access abortion by providing material, financial, or logistical support to that person to help enable them to obtain an abortion.
Attorneys may apply for financial support for legal representation in matters in which they have agreed to represent a potential client in a case involving one of these categories that is contingent on receipt of funding as well as in matters in which they have entered into ongoing representation of a client in a case involving one of these categories.
Types of Matters
The Abortion Access LDF may be able to provide funding for the following types of matters:
- Civil or Administrative Defense: The matter involves defending against a legal action, or threat thereof, brought against a Patient or Supporter, alleging that their actions to obtain an abortion or to support abortion violated a civil law, regulation, or professional licensing body’s rules;
- Civil Affirmative: The matter is brought by the Patient or Supporter and challenges a policy or an out-of-court action taken against a Patient or Supporter because they obtained or supported an abortion (e.g. adverse employment, school, or professional body action).
- Criminal Defense: The matter involves defending against a criminal investigation or prosecution, brought against a Patient or Supporter, investigating whether or alleging that their actions to obtain or support an abortion violated a criminal law;
- Other: To the extent that there are remaining funds available and the interests and goals of the fund are not compromised, and where decision criteria are present (see attorney application), the Abortion Access LDF may fund other matters wherein a Patient or Supporter faces legal action related to their alleged involvement in abortion.
The Abortion Access LDF is intended to assist in situations where it would be difficult to get adequate legal representation without financial support, or where the cost of such representation will impose substantial hardship on the Client or their attorney. Funds may be used to cover reasonable legal defense costs in new or ongoing matters. These may include:
- Attorney’s fees
- Filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Mediation costs
- Private investigator
- Travel costs necessary to attend required court appearances
The determination as to which cases will receive Abortion Access LDF financial support and the amount of support each matter will receive will be made by the Abortion Access Legal Defense Fund LLC after review and in its sole discretion. Due to limited funds, the Abortion Access LDF will not be able to provide support to all deserving applicants. Funding determinations will be made free from the influence of donors. Beyond the decision to provide financial support, the Abortion Access LDF and its affiliate, the National Women’s Law Center, otherwise exercise no control over the decisions of the attorney or attorneys handling the matter. By funding some part of a matter, the Abortion Access LDF is not committing to providing further funding for a case.
Fund Information and Application
Attorneys may begin the application process by filling out their contact information here. We may contact the attorney to schedule a screening interview and begin the application process.