The Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has raised many questions from Taft clients. While much of the country has focused on one aspect of Dobbs, the opinion could have far-reaching effects. Thus, the Taft Law™ Post-Roe v. Wade Task Force was formed, which is composed of attorneys across practice groups, including Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Health Care and Life Sciences, Employment and Labor, Privacy and Data Security, Litigation, and Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense, as well as members of the Public Affairs Strategies Group.
The purpose of the task force is to provide valuable information and insight to address the varying legal and business concerns Taft clients may have. To that end, together with regular updates, Taft will be publishing the following over the coming weeks:
Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation – Dobbs raises a variety of questions regarding the ability of health plans to provide for the payment of abortion-related procedures along with providing abortion-related travel reimbursements in the event a plan participant is required to travel to a different state in order to obtain an abortion.
Health Care and Life Sciences – Restrictions of, and access to, certain health care services may now vary by state and entity. Yet federal laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), and more remain, leaving providers and health plans to revisit internal policies and procedures to comply with quickly moving targets.
Employment and Labor – Many issues could arise related to the provision of benefits, requests for accommodations and medical leave, protected concerted activities, religious accommodations, and union organizing and bargaining.
Privacy and Data Security – Regarding privacy issues, we will discuss the current protections available under law, as well as the limits of those protections. We will also address information sharing; protection from the sharing of private information between states, countries, and business entities; and the impact of technology on the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of that data.
Litigation – Dobbs removes the Constitutional protection of abortion and related care found in Roe v. Wade and returns to the states the regulation of abortions and abortion access. Thus, varying state laws now could come into play regarding the legality of such matters. There has also been an uptick in the pursuit of equitable relief, including temporary restraining orders. As more litigation and injunctions are filed, the state of the law could be a moving target, leaving companies with ambiguous directives and requiring constant monitoring of the situation.
Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense – Currently, as many as 26 states have criminal laws limiting or prohibiting abortion-related services. We expect this number to change, and, in the very near future, these changes may dramatically alter the potential criminal landscape in these states. Even behavior that was previously legal may now be subject to potential criminal punishment, and we will address the extent to which directly participating in or assisting others in participating in abortion-related services may become criminal conduct.
Public Affairs Strategies Group (PASG) – While the Dobbs decision largely shifts the debate over abortion rights to the states, the PASG will be following federal executive branch and congressional actions related to attempts to influence the various impacts of Dobbs. We will report on significant developments and the likelihood of these actions being enacted at the federal level.
Taft’s Post-Roe v. Wade Task Force will cover these topics and more. If you have any questions, please contact us.