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National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Reproductive Justice

NCLR works to ensure that every person has the ability to choose whether or not to have children, and that everyone who participates in assisted reproduction, including egg donors and people acting as surrogates, has the full ability to make decisions about their own bodies. Through legislation and impact litigation, we seek to ensure that intended parents using assisted reproduction and surrogacy are recognized as families, and that the rights of people acting as surrogates and egg donors are fully protected. We also strongly support the provision of all reproductive health services to people of all genders, including access to abortion, contraception, assisted reproduction and fertility services covered by insurance, and fertility preservation for transgender people.

NCLR Leads LGBTQ Community Comments on Biden Administration Proposal to Repeal the Domestic Gag Rule

On May 17, 2021, NCLR submitted comments on behalf of 14 LGBTQ and sexual health advocacy organizations encouraging the Biden Administration to adopt new regulations for the Title X family planning program. This critical federal program provides funding for health centers around the country that provide contraception, STI testing and other important health services to primarily low-income people, including many who are LGBTQ. The Trump administration had imposed harsh rules that drove Planned Parenthood and other providers that provide abortion care out of the program, cutting off access for millions. NCLR opposed those rules when they were proposed back in 2019, and we applaud President Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for their proposal to restore this vital program through a new set of regulations. In our formal comments we offered some suggestions to make the new regulations even better, and noted how important these family planning clinics are for our community, as many provide welcoming and affirming spaces for LGBTQ people to access health care, including gender-affirming care. (For example, Cedar River Clinics in Washington state truly strives to be a model of reproductive justice by offering not just abortion and contraception, but also insemination services, wellness care, and LGBTQ-specific services, including their Transgender Health Care Toolkit.) We encourage the administration to finalize the new rules as soon as possible so that the Title X network can return to full strength and fulfill its mission to provide comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services to those who need them.

NCLR’s Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon discusses this term’s critical Supreme Court cases affecting LGBTQ+ people and access to reproductive health care.

From NCLR’s Archives

Devoted to the lesbian-feminist foundation to provide a broad perspective of advocacy and legal support for fundamental rights, Hitchens and Achtenberg focused their initial courtroom battles on lesbian family issues, which at that time saw lesbian mothers having to prove they were fit parents to retain child custody rights. The first court victory for NCLR was in 1983 when Sharon Johnson, a black lesbian mother, won custody of her son Daimein.

— “NCLR still has an edge at 30” by Heather Cassell, The Bay Area Reporter, Apr 4, 2007

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Advocacy

Cases & Advocacy

June Medical Services v. Russo

Nationwide

On December 2, 2019, NCLR filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court. The case involves a challenge to a law in Louisiana that would force all but one abortion clinic in that state to close, a law that is virtually identical to one in Texas that the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional just three years ago in the landmark case <em>Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt</em>.

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Resources

Press Release

Publications

Voluntary Declarations of Parentage

A voluntary acknowledgment of parentage or voluntary declaration of parentage (also called a VAP, or VDOP in some states) is a document that establishes a legal relationship between a parent and a child. VAPs must be signed by the person who gave birth and the person establishing their parental rights.  View PDF

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