Debevoise and the Center for Reproductive Rights File Lawsuit Against Louisiana’s Clinic Licensing Law

28 June 2017

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a new lawsuit against the state of Louisiana’s abortion clinic licensing law that has forced most of the clinics in the state to close.

The team filed its lawsuit in the Middle District of Louisiana on the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which struck down a Texas requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges.

The new complaint asserts that Louisiana’s statutory and regulatory abortion clinic licensing scheme, as applied, falls squarely within the category of laws the Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional in Whole Women’s Health – i.e., laws for which evidence shows that the burdens they create on access to abortion outweigh their benefits. Louisiana regulations implementing the licensing law contain more than 1,000 medically unnecessary requirements that apply exclusively to clinics that provide abortion, despite the relative safety of abortion as compared to other non-regulated outpatient procedures.

The Debevoise team was led by partner Shannon Rose Selden and included associates Amanda M. Bartlett, Anna Moody, Brooke J. Willig, Holly S. Wintermute and Mimi Yang.

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