In the News

ACLU Sues WMATA Over 1st Amendment

Hi there! You may notice that we’ve updated the effective range of the abortion pill from 10 weeks to 11 weeks on our website. That’s because current research shows that the abortion pill is effective up to 11 weeks. If you have any questions, give us a call at (855) SAY-CARA.

Remember that time when carafem was denied the opportunity to run our 10-Week-After-Pill ad in DC Metro locations earlier this year? WMATA refused to run our ad on the grounds that their new advertising guidelines reject any advertisement that is intended to “influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions.” That blanket statement created some issues for us and a few other advertisers as the metro stations reach over 90% of people in the DC area. (Don’t get us wrong, we still found a creative way to get the message out there, it just wasn’t seen by as many people as we had hoped.)

In thinking about it, we, at carafem felt since WMATA listed no standards or criteria to be met in defining an “issue-oriented” ad, their decision amounted to censorship and was unreasonable. It turns out that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) thought the same thing! Just last week, carafem joined the ACLU, PETA and Milo Worldwide in a lawsuit that claims WMATA advertising guidelines are inconsistent, subjective, and violate the first amendment – our right to free speech.

On Tuesday, August 8th, legal papers were filed and carafem and the ACLU released press statements about our efforts to partner together to fight censorship on WMATA. As of the end of last week, this story has been featured in over 60 articles and received coverage across the US and internationally. There were many outlets covering the story, but just to name, we saw articles from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek.

Want to read the actual legal filing? You can find it here:

Part of the mission of carafem is to talk about our services, including abortion care, in a way that is bold, unapologetic and similar to how other medical providers advertise their services. This lawsuit is an exciting development and will help us fight against the abortion stigma that tries to silence our voice.