Legal Briefs (July 2013)

NASW and its Alaska Chapter, through the NASW Legal Defense Fund, filed an amicus brief in the case Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest v. Alaska in the Alaska Supreme Court.

The brief urges the court to reverse a decision of the Alaska Superior Court, which upholds the constitutionality of a state law that requires a minor to seek a parent’s consent to obtain an abortion.

The brief states that it is irrational to require parental notice of abortion in the name of protecting minors from preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies when Alaska does not require parental notice for minors to carry a pregnancy to term, which is at least likely to result in preterm birth.

It also notes that scientific evidence shows there is no causal connection between abortion and increased risk of psychological harm as compared to carrying a pregnancy to term.

The brief explains that the mandatory parental involvement law will cause many pregnant minors to delay seeking health care in the first place due to fear of mandated parental notice or of having to go to court to seek a judicial bypass.

NASW, through its LDF, filed an amicus brief in the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals for the case Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District.

The brief urges the court to uphold the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California’s ruling that Sweetwater Union High School District unfairly favored boys’ sports over girls’ sports at Castle Park High School, thus violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. It bars sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding.

The district court correctly applied the law in its ruling, the brief explains.

“Enforcement of Title IX is essential to ensure that schools provide young women with genuine and equal opportunities to participate in sports,” the brief states. “In this case, the district court properly held that Sweetwater violated Title IX by failing to provide equal participation opportunities for girls in athletics, failing to provide existing female athletes with equal benefits and services, and retaliating against the plaintiff class of female athletes, who had engaged in protected activity.”

For these and other cases, visit the Amicus Brief Database.