By Kacie Williams
CHICAGO, IL – The American Bar Association (ABA) adopted a series of resolutions during their Tuesday session that had sought to expand protective rights for individuals who are affected by reproductive rights along with other privacy rights.
The ABA’s policymaking body, the House of Delegates (HOD), took the lead.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade decision in June, the decision made by the ABA during their 2022 Annual Meeting to support individuals’ reproductive rights was its first vote in support since the Supreme Court decision.
The new measures that have been added from its annual meeting all support the reproductive rights of individuals who may be involved in the abortion process. This also includes those who are advocates of reproductive rights from civil and criminal penalties.
The ABA re-affirmed their policy which protects a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
In 1992 the ABA adopted a resolution that supported the right to an abortion within the time period before fetal viability. Again in 2019, the ABA’s HOD adopted another policy that advocated for an end to laws that would restrict abortion access.
– Resolution 804, which outlines the opposition of both criminal and civil liability toward any individual who wishes to voluntarily terminate their pregnancy.
– Resolution 805, which opposes the restriction of contraception.
– Resolution 806, which supports the Respect for Marriage Act that codifies marriage equality for both interracial and same-sex marriages.
– Resolution 807, which opposes the prosecution of any medical physician or health care provider that aids in any aspect of an abortion.
Within lawyer ethics, the delegates prevented a discussion which threatened to undermine the ABA’s support of certain initiatives in relation to their national regulatory changes.
Resolution 402 had been amended to reaffirm the association’s model which bars nonlawyers’ ownership of law firms, while also reaffirming the 2020 policy that encourages innovation at the state level so long as the effect of change is measured.
Several of the newly adopted criminal-justice oriented measures include:
– Resolution 601, which supports the repeal of the Charleston loophole (allowing gun dealers to sell guns without a background check).
– Resolution 501, which contains the ABA Criminal Justice Standards on Diversion.
– Resolution 502, which urges government entities to approve legislation that would permit courts to hear petitions to allow hearings that would enable taking a “second look” at criminal sentences in which an individual had been incarcerated for 10 years.
– The revision of the ABA Election Administration Guidelines and Commentary, outlined in Resolution 602, urged all officials to ensure integrity of the election process through proper funding for implementation.