PHILADELPHIA - Anti-abortion activists who sued the city of Philadelphia and Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania (ALF-PA) over a $500,000 donation that the city made to ALF-PA are dropping their lawsuit. The move to end the legal challenge comes weeks after attorneys from the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, representing ALF-PA, filed a motion for sanctions against the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The plaintiffs had been pressing their case on appeal, following several rulings in ALF-PA’s favor by a Philadelphia judge over the past three months. Today’s move effectively ends all legal challenges to the city’s donation, including appeals.
The following can be attributed to Stephen Loney, senior supervising attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, who argued in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of ALF-PA:
“This case is ending for one very simple reason - the plaintiffs had no case. It is completely legal for municipal governments to donate to an organization like Abortion Liberation Fund. The only reason we were in court at all is because the plaintiffs oppose ALF’s mission, and they attempted a distorted reading of the law to further their antagonism. We are pleased that the challengers and their attorneys recognize that it’s time to bring this lawsuit to a close.”
The following can be attributed to Elicia Gonzales, executive director of ALF-PA, an organization that protects and expands access to abortion for individuals in Southeastern Pennsylvania through direct service and community organizing:
“As other states have severely limited or banned access to abortion, Pennsylvania has become a critical destination for patients in need. We support those patients and anyone in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania who needs financial assistance to receive care.
“Even before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, accessing abortion could be challenging or impossible for many people, particularly young people, people living in poverty, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color. That challenge has been compounded significantly by the fallout of the court’s ruling and more state bans of abortion. Unfortunately, this lawsuit was a distraction from the critical work that we do every day to support patients. We are glad that it’s over.”
More information about the case is available at aclupa.org/AbortionLiberationFund.