This lawsuit sought to overturn several core components of the longstanding, unconstitutional abortion restrictions on the books in Virginia. These laws needlessly targeted abortion providers and harm patients seeking abortion services by imposing burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements. The laws restricted who may provide abortion care and how they provide it, and placed onerous, unnecessary obstacles in the way of Virginians seeking abortions. Following the passage of the Reproductive Health Protection Act, which repealed the majority of the challenged laws in this case, and a decision from the district court striking down a hospitalization requirement for second trimester abortions, this case was voluntarily dismissed July 28, 2020.
Plaintiff(s): Falls Church Healthcare Center, Whole Woman’s Health of Charlottesville, A Capital Women’s Health Clinic, and the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ACLU of Virginia.
We filed our complaint and papers in federal court on June 20, 2018, challenging an onerous clinic licensing scheme, a mandatory delay law requiring patients make a second, medically unnecessary trip to a clinic 24 hours before having an abortion, a law that prohibits qualified advanced practice clinicians from providing abortion care, and criminalization laws that treat abortion as a criminal matter rather than a matter of healthcare. All of the challenged laws and regulations were then in effect in Virginia. The State quickly moved to dismiss the case but, following a hearing, the district court ruled on September 26, 2018 that claims against each of the challenged restrictions could proceed. Following an eight-day bench trial, on September 30, 2019, the district court issued a mixed ruling, striking down the hospital requirement for second trimester abortions and the facilities requirement, which if enforced, would have forced most clinics in the state to close, but upholding the physician-only law, the mandatory delay law, and the remainder of the licensing scheme. We filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following the passage of the Reproductive Health Protection Act, which repealed the two-trip mandatory delay law, the licensing law, and the physician-only law, this case was voluntarily dismissed on July 28, 2020. All of the restrictions initially challenged in this lawsuit were either struck down by the district court or repealed by the Reproductive Health Protection Act.
- Complaint, 06.20.2018
- Memorandum Opinion re: Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, 09.26.2018
- Memorandum Opinion, Post-Trial Judgment, 11.30.2019