Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz Historic Case

At a Glance

Date Filed: 


Case Description 

In Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz, attorneys at CCR brought the first challenge to the constitutionality of abortion statutes in which women were the plaintiffs and the issues raised were those of a woman’s right to abortion rather than the right of the doctor to practice medicine.

The case, which was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1972, was ultimately dismissed as moot because the New York legislature liberalized its law in the midst of the litigation. While the case was dismissed, it served as the model and inspiration for similar challenges in states throughout the country.

In some of the challenges which followed, such as Abele v. Markle, Abramowitz v. Kugler, and Women of Massachusetts v. Quinn, CCR attorneys participated as counsel with local lawyers.

The work of the Center in leading the challenges to restrictive abortion laws came to fruition in the U.S. Supreme Court cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that invalidated abortion laws of Texas and Georgia.