The Center, on behalf of Hope Medical Group for Women, is challenging actions by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals ordering an immediate suspension and seeking permanent revocation of the clinic’s operating license, on the grounds that the State’s action violate the clinic’s constitutional and statutory rights.
Filing date: 09/13/2010
State: Louisiana, USA
Plaintiff(s): Bossier City Medical Suite, Inc., Choice Inc. of Texas d/b/a Causeway Medical Clinic, Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Inc., Midtown Medical, LLC, Women’s Health Care Center, Inc., and John Doe, M.D.
Center Attorney(s): Janet Crepps and Suzanne Novak
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: J.E. Cullens, Jr. from Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens LLC in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Summary: In 2010, the Louisiana legislature granted new authority to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), allowing the Secretary to immediately suspend and seek permanent revocation of the license of outpatient abortion facilities, if the Secretary determined that the facility had violated any law or regulation and that the violation posed a threat to patient safety. On Friday, September 3, DHH issued an immediate suspension and notice of intent to permanently revoke the clinic’s license, claiming that the facility’s anesthesia practices violated applicable regulations. Not only had the cited practices been used by the clinic for many years, but they had also been previously reviewed by DHH on numerous occasions during routine annual inspections. Moreover, in response to concerns expressed by DHH, the clinic had stopped using the practices in question three weeks before the suspension, and had communicated that fact to the Department.
CRR filed suit on September 13th alleging that the Department’s actions were arbitrary and capricious and violated the clinic’s due process rights. Two days later, a state court judge in Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order allowing the clinic to reopen, and has since issued a preliminary injunction barring DHH from enforcing the suspension order until the clinic’s legal claims are resolved.
The Center has also filed an action in federal court on behalf of other licensed abortion facilities in Louisiana who fear that DHH will act arbitrarily to suspend or revoke their licenses. (Bossier City Medical Suite, Inc., et al, vs. Greenstein.)