Practice

Reproductive Health Practice Group

Addressing unprecedented challenges in a post-Roe world

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health continues to have far-reaching implications for companies, healthcare providers, insurers, higher education institutions, and other organizations across the United States. Using the strengths of our regulatory, policy, investigations, and litigation lawyers, we are proactively advising clients on immediate and potential issues to address challenges and minimize business disruption.
 

Our cross-disciplinary team meets regularly to analyze and examine how the decision affects organizations in the short- and long-term. In addition to the full suite of legal services we provide to clients, we have also undertaken pro bono work focused on reproductive rights for decades, and the firm remains committed to engaging in similar pro bono matters post-Roe.

To learn more about our capabilities, download our Reproductive Healthcare Practice Capabilities here.

Areas of Focus

As the reproductive health landscape rapidly changes, we’re here to help you tackle your most pressing issues, including:
  • Business counseling
  • Policy and procedure development
  • Healthcare data privacy
  • Issues regarding the provision of reproductive healthcare-related services 
  • Higher education endowment investment decisions
  • Legislative analysis and strategy
  • Healthcare litigation and government investigations
  • Compliance assessments
  • Data breach and incident response
  • State Attorney General inquiries
  • Human rights policies and litigations
  • Reproductive health pro bono matters

Experience

  • Business Counseling: Following Dobbs, all organizations will be required to examine their corporate structure, culture, organizational priorities, and geographic footprint. Many companies have published statements stating they will be covering abortion-related care and travel costs for their employees. To make this workable in practice, these companies will need to develop policies and procedures concerning such coverage. We can provide guidance regarding the development and implementation of policies and procedures arising out of abortion and other reproductive healthcare-related coverage.
  • Digital Health: Foley Hoag’s Digital Health Practice advises leading companies across the digital health spectrum, from disease diagnostics, to digital treatment therapeutics, to tech-driven health insurance platforms, to artificial intelligence tools for drug discovery. Our attorneys can leverage their decades of experience in the healthcare, life sciences and tech industries to effectively guide clients regarding the legal issues related to the collection and storage of healthcare data in a post-Roe world.
  • Education: Serving colleges and universities nationwide, Foley Hoag’s Education practice can advise educational institutions on the provision of reproductive healthcare-related services through student health facilities, affiliated hospitals or pharmacies, clinical programs, or other course offerings. Our experience also extends to other areas necessary for the successful operation of a higher education institution that may raise issues post-Roe, including student activism, campus speaker invitations, and endowment investment decisions.
  • Government Strategies: Our Government Strategies practice can provide companies, local and national healthcare trade associations and non-profit organizations with government strategies advice and lobbying services related to reproductive rights, and counsel clients on compliance with pending legislation in various states.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare providers are the most immediately impacted by Dobbs, both clinically and legally. Our fluency in healthcare laws and policy allows us to help our clients develop successful strategies for navigating the complex post-Dobbs healthcare environment. This includes advising on the scope of reproductive healthcare and pharmacy services that may be provided in any specific jurisdiction, challenges arising out of licensure in multiple states and the resulting requirement to comply with differing and conflicting state laws, the provision of reproductive healthcare-related funding and training, and the development of defenses to challenges to providers’ authority to provide care to their patients. Our healthcare litigation team’s expertise in federal preemption of state laws, including their experience in litigating ERISA, Part D and FDA preemption issues is particularly apt as federal and state policy regarding reproductive healthcare continue to clash.
  • Labor & Employment: Employers are grappling with a host of employment law implications arising out of Dobbs, including providing healthcare coverage and employee benefits to ensure employees have access to reproductive healthcare, preventing and addressing discrimination and harassment, maintaining confidentiality of information related to employee health, managing workplace conduct and speech, and ensuring compliance with other applicable laws and regulations. Foley Hoag's Labor and Employment Practice has decades of experience addressing these and similar issues and helping employers navigate the changing array of laws and regulations in the area of labor and employment.
  • Litigation: As clients work to navigate the remaining state-based patchwork of laws and regulations following Dobbs, Foley Hoag’s nationally renowned litigation department has the necessary experience to defend clients in reproductive healthcare-related litigation before courts and regulatory bodies all over the country.
  • Privacy & Data Security: Dobbs’s ripple effects are likely to reach not only healthcare providers and impact how they protect patient privacy while best providing care, but digital health companies (such as those offering fertility trackers) and any employers providing benefits for employees seeking access to reproductive healthcare services. Foley Hoag’s team of privacy and data security attorneys have a wealth of experience assisting business with unique and complex data protection and cybersecurity challenges, including those arising from regulations in multiple and competing jurisdictions (such as California and the European Union) and from new technologies (such as applications arising from the development of artificial intelligence and blockchain). Our experience ranges from compliance assessments and policy drafting, to data breach and incident response, to defending against government investigations, and litigating complex privacy and data security issues.
  • State Attorney General Investigations: Following Dobbs, State Attorneys General will be at the front lines of enforcing their states’ laws concerning access to reproductive healthcare. Our lawyers, which include a former attorney general, a former first assistant attorney general, and a former deputy attorney general, can assist clients in dealing with investigations and inquiries from State Attorney General’s offices concerning reproductive healthcare issues.
  • United Nations and Public International Law: In addition to its domestic ramifications, limitations and bans on reproductive and other related healthcare rights carry significant implications under international law. Foley Hoag’s United Nations and Public International Law Practices have extensive experience advising on and litigating under various human rights treaties before international courts and tribunals and before UN bodies and independent experts. Our work also includes working with other interested stakeholders as amici.
  • White Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Foley Hoag’s White Collar Crime & Government Investigations practice group has decades of experience successfully representing national and multi-national companies and their boards and executives in complex criminal investigations, federal and state prosecutions and other enforcement actions, and related civil proceedings. Along with advising clients regarding the potential criminal and civil liability arising out of providing coverage for reproductive healthcare, including through reimbursement of reproductive healthcare-related interstate travel costs, we can assist clients with responding to subpoenas and other requests for information from various government agencies. In addition, our team of lawyers, which includes former federal and state prosecutors, can help help clients navigate and defend against government investigations arising out of Dobbs.
  • Pro Bono Efforts: Foley Hoag has undertaken pro bono work focused on reproductive rights for decades, and the firm remains committed to engaging in pro bono work focused on reproductive rights post-Roe. The firm is a member of the New York Attorney General’s Pro Bono Task Force for Reproductive Health, created to help New Yorkers and people visiting New York with legal information and resources about accessing abortion. In addition, the firm is helping one pro bono client develop a strategy to advise and defend providers in connection with potential efforts by some states to apply and enforce restrictions on reproductive rights extraterritorially, and another regarding potential constitutional challenges to race based “reason” abortion bans.
     

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