LINCOLN, Neb. – On Friday, April 9, the ACLU of Nebraska filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking emergency action on behalf of a woman at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW). State government officials are blocking the woman from accessing abortion care.

The lawsuit argues the officials’ policy violates the woman’s constitutional right to access abortion. It seeks an emergency order allowing the woman immediate access to a local healthcare provider so she can receive abortion care.

ACLU of Nebraska Legal and Policy Counsel Scout Richters said officials’ actions risk the woman’s health and violate her rights and dignity.

“State officials are barring a woman from getting an abortion and forcing her to remain pregnant against her will. It’s wrong and it’s unlawful,” Richters said. “All of us, including our client, have the right to make our own decision about whether and when to become a parent. We’re taking this to court to ensure she can get the care she needs as soon as possible and to make sure officials never again show such blatant disregard for the people in their custody and care.”

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said:

“The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services' decision to prevent our client from accessing abortion is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Every court to consider this issue has held that the right to abortion survives incarceration.  We hope the court will act quickly so that our client can get the care she needs.”

The case is similar to a lawsuit in Missouri, also filed by the ACLU, which allowed a woman to access the care she needed. Roe v. Crawford upheld the principle that people in prison or jail cannot be denied timely and safe access to abortion care.