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Press Release

Readout of the Reproductive Rights Task Force Meeting

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

On Thursday, June 6, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer convened the Justice Department’s Reproductive Rights Task Force (RRTF) to discuss the Department’s ongoing work to protect reproductive freedoms under federal law. The RRTF, which is chaired by Acting Associate Attorney General Mizer, was created in July 2022, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  

“Protecting access to lawful reproductive care is central to the Justice Department’s responsibility to defend the civil rights of everyone in our country,” said Attorney General Garland.  “I am grateful to the members of the Justice Department’s Reproductive Rights Task Force for their tireless efforts to ensure those protections. We will continue to vigorously defend the reproductive rights guaranteed to all Americans under federal law.”

Dobbs dealt a devastating blow to reproductive freedom, and every day we continue to see that decision’s terrible consequences unfold,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Mizer. “We established the Reproductive Rights Task Force to bring a whole-of-department approach to protecting access to reproductive health care following Dobbs. I am deeply proud of the work of the task force, which works tirelessly every day to protect and advance reproductive rights for women in this country.”

During the meeting, the Attorney General and the Acting Associate Attorney General discussed the RRTF’s recent work to protect access to reproductive health care. RRTF members briefed the Attorney General and the Acting Associate Attorney General on litigation by the Civil Division and the Office of the Solicitor General to protect lawful access to reproductive services, including cases defending the Food and Drug Administration’s expert decisions regarding the safety and efficacy of the abortion drug mifepristone, ensuring that women receive the emergency care to which they are entitled under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, and protecting the constitutional right to travel. The RRTF also discussed the work of the Office of Legislative Affairs to assist Congress in drafting legislation to codify reproductive rights, and the Civil Rights Division’s ongoing enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act. Of particular note, since January 2021, the Department has brought 25 cases involving a total of 57 defendants accused of criminal FACE Act-related violations.

The Attorney General and the Acting Associate Attorney General thanked RRTF Executive Director Jodie Morse for her day-to-day leadership of the task force, thanked all RRTF members for their continued hard work, and reaffirmed the Department’s ongoing commitment to defending reproductive freedoms.

Attorney General Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke
Attorney General Garland and Acting Associate Attorney General Mizer being briefing by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar
Updated June 7, 2024

Access to Justice
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-719