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Jackson Women's Health Organization v. Mississippi

Jackson Women's Health Organization v. Mississippi

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Published by Shane Vander Hart
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan placed a temporary restraining order on a new abortion clinic regulation to take effect today requiring abortion practitioners to be certified OB/GYNs with local hospital privileges.
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan placed a temporary restraining order on a new abortion clinic regulation to take effect today requiring abortion practitioners to be certified OB/GYNs with local hospital privileges.

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Published by: Shane Vander Hart on Jul 02, 2012
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02/23/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPICOMPLAINT
Plaintiffs Jackson Women’s Health Organization (the “Clinic”) and Willie Parker, M.D.,
M.P.H., M.Sc.
(collectively “Plaintiffs”), by and through their undersigned attorneys, bring this
Complaint against the above-named Defendants, their employees, agents, and successors in
office (“Defendants”) and in support thereof state the following:JACKSON WOMEN’S HEALTH
ORGANIZATION, on behalf of itself and itspatients,andWILLIE PARKER, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., onbehalf of himself and his patients,Plaintiffs,)))))))))))v. ))CIVIL ACTION #________________MARY CURRIER, M.D., M.P.H. in herofficial capacity as State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health,andROBERT SHULER SMITH, in his officialcapacity as District Attorney for HindsCounty, Mississippi,Defendants.)))))))))))
 
2
I.
 
Preliminary Statement
1.
 
This is a challenge, pursuant to the Constitution of the United States of America and
42 U.S.C. § 1983, to Mississippi House Bill 1390 (“the Act”),
1
which will effectively banabortion in the State of Mississippi by imposing medically unjustified requirements onphysicians who provide abortions. One of these requirements
 — 
mandating that any physicianwho provides abortions at a licensed clinic must be a board certified or eligible obstetrician/ gynecologist
 — 
is even farther removed from medical necessity than a comparable requirementthat was enjoined by this Court in 1996 because it imposed an undue burden. The otherrequirement, which provides that any physician who provides abortions at a licensed clinic must
have “admitting privileges and staff pr 
ivileges to replace local hospital on-
staff physicians” wasclearly enacted with the unconstitutional purpose “to cause fewer abortions.” Ex. B, M.J. Lee,
 Bill Dooms Only Miss. Abortion Clinic,
Politico, April 5, 2012.2.
 
In addition, this litigation challe
nges the Mississippi Department of Health’s decision,
reflected in its June 25, 2012 letter, to refuse to issue a renewal license to the Clinic withoutproof of compliance with the Act and to enforce the Act as soon as it takes effect on July 1,2012, creating a
de facto
ban on pre-viability abortions in the state. This decision is a reversal of 
the Department’s previous decision, reflected in its May 29, 2012 letter, to follow its ordinary
rulemaking process, which would have delayed enforcement of the Act until approximately mid-
August, 2012. Over the days and weeks leading up to the Department’s decision, elected
officials subjected the Department to extraordinary political pressure to use the Act to forcePlaintiffs to stop providing abortions as quickly as possible.
See
Ex. C, Letter from Rep. Sam C.Mims to Defendant Dr. Mary Currier (June 20, 2012).1A copy of the Act is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
 
33.
 
Despite Plaintiffs’ diligent efforts since
the Act was passed, it is impossible for themto comply with the new admitting privileges requirement by July 1, 2012. Upon information andbelief, the Clinic is the only abortion provider in Mississippi. Thus, absent relief from this Court,Plaintiffs will be forced to stop providing abortion care to women in Mississippi as of July 1,2012, leaving those women with nowhere else to turn.4.
 
For these reasons, the Act will endanger the health of women in Mississippi andviolate their constitutional rights.5.
 
Plaintiffs seek injunctive and declaratory relief to prevent these and other irreparableharms to themselves and their patients. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law.
II.
 
Jurisdiction and Venue
6.
 
This court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.7.
 
Plaintiffs’ action for declaratory and injunctive relief is authorized by 28 U.S.C. §§
2201 and 2202.8.
 
Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of the eventsgiving rise to this action occurred in this district.
III.
 
PartiesA.
 
Plaintiffs
9.
 
The Clinic is a health care facility in Jackson, Mississippi that has been providingabortion care and other reproductive health care to women since 1996. It has been the soleabortion provider in the State of Mississippi since 2002. The Clinic has been continuouslylicensed by the Department of Health since licensure was required. The Clinic sues on its ownbehalf and on behalf of its patients.

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