Lynn Paltrow

National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women ("NAPW"). Ms. Paltrow is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. She has worked on numerous cases challenging restrictions on the right to choose abortion as well cases opposing the prosecution and punishment of pregnant women seeking to continue their pregnancies to term. Ms. Paltrow has served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, as Director of Special Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and as Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City. Ms. Paltrow conceived of and filed the first affirmative federal civil rights challenge to a hospital policy of searching pregnant women for evidence of drug use and turning that information over to the police. In the case of Ferguson et. al., v. City of Charleston et. al., the United States Supreme Court agreed that such a policy violates the 4th amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Through her work as a national litigator and strategist in cases involving the intersection of the war on reproductive freedom and the war on drugs, Ms. Paltrow recognized the need for a shift in the reproductive rights paradigm – away from divisive (and inaccurate) "pro-choice" and "anti-choice" categorizations and toward a set of inclusive, positive reproductive and family justice values around which a broad base of allies can mobilize. As Executive Director of NAPW, Ms. Paltrow combines legal advocacy with grassroots and national organizing and policy work to bring about this shift. She is a frequent guest lecturer and writer for popular press, law reviews and medical journals and is the recipient of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellowship, the Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship, the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law, and was selected in 2005 as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women'sEnews.

 


All Work

Lynn Paltrow
Lynn Paltrow

Commentary Abortion

Prosecutors, Judges Increasingly Indict Pregnant Women Using “Personhood” Status Rejected By Voters

Citizens in Mississippi, once, and Colorado, twice, have resoundingly rejected so called "personhood" measures that would have established the "pre-born" as separate legal persons under the law. There is increasing evidence that when people understand the broad reach of such measures, they vote them down. But what happens when prosecutors and judges misuse their power and "pass" such measures in disguise?

Is Locking Up Pregnant Women the New Cure for State Financial Woes and Mental Health Problems?

Lynn Paltrow

Lawmakers in Alabama and Indiana are moving to arrest and incarcerate pregnant women with mental illness and drug addiction, and charge them with harming their fetus.  National Advocates for Pregnant Women is working to defend the basic rights of pregnant women suffering from mental illness, severe depression, or any other health problem to be treated like other human beings experiencing the same problems.

The War on Drugs Coming to a Womb Near You

Lynn Paltrow

Organizations from the March of Dimes to the American Medical Association oppose the arrests and prosecutions, based on "child abuse," of pregnant women who use drugs, but South Carolina continues to jail pregnant women and mothers otherwise denied treatment.

Pregnant Women and Mothers Deserve Better

Lynn Paltrow

It is time for all those who care about pregnant women and mothers -- whatever their views on abortion -- to write, call, and, demonstrate against individuals, organizations, and institutions that use hateful language.

Pregnant Women and Mothers Deserve Better

Lynn Paltrow

Is anti-abortion rhetoric "hate speech" or an "incitement to terrorism? Whatever your answer, this speech reveals anger, disrespect for and hostility toward both providers and to those who have abortions -- pregnant women.

You Try Saying No to a C-Section

Lynn Paltrow

Why are the legislators -- who profess to care so much about pregnant women -- only willing to "protect" women who plan to end their pregnancies from coercion, and not those those who intend to go to term?

Towards a Real Culture of Life

Lynn Paltrow

Lynn Paltrow is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW).

Many people in the U.S. work to protect the rights of pregnant women and to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect. But as a result of the divisive abortion debate, many of those advocates typically do not work together—or even speak to one another.

The anti-abortion movement has successfully used the abortion issue to divide the electorate, and a key part of their strategy has been creating the illusion that there are two kinds of women: those who have abortions and those who have babies. The truth is that 61 percent of women who have abortions are already mothers, and another 24 percent will go on to become mothers. Over the course of their lives, 85 percent of all women bring life into this world and provide the vast majority of care for the lives of those around them—without compensation.

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