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Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Paxton (Texas)

(W.D. Tex. No. 1:18-CV-500)

Texas laws regulating abortion have proliferated over time. Pursuing an incremental strategy designed to chip away at abortion access, the State has layered restrictions on top of restrictions, steadily increasing the burdens faced by people seeking to end their pregnancies. Reasonable regulations have been superseded by unreasonable ones, increasing the cost and decreasing the availability of abortion care, while failing to provide added benefits. Abortion patients and providers now face a dizzying array of medically unnecessary requirements that are difficult, time-consuming, and costly to navigate—sometimes prohibitively so.

This case challenges five categories of Texas abortion restrictions: (1) targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws; (2) laws that deny abortion patients the benefits of scientific progress; (3) biased counseling and waiting-period laws; (4) laws that burden pregnant teenagers who lack parental support; and (5) laws that criminalize abortion care. It seeks to return Texas to a system of reasonable and medically appropriate abortion regulation.

This case also challenges the University of Texas System’s practice of denying its students credit for internships and field placements with organizations that support abortion rights.

Plaintiffs: Whole Woman’s Health Alliance; Fund Texas Choice; Lilith Fund, Inc.; Texas Equal Access Fund; The Afiya Center; West Fund; Bhavik Kumar, M.D.

Defendants:  Attorney General of Texas, in his official capacity; Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, in her official capacity; Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, in his official capacity; Executive Director of the Texas Medical Board, in his official capacity; Chancellor of the University of Texas System, in his official capacity; and Travis County Attorney, in his official capacity and as representative of the class of all Texas county and district attorneys with authority to prosecute misdemeanor offenses

Co-counsel: Morrison & Foerster LLP; Patrick J. O’Connell

Timeline and Key Documents:

June 14, 2018                Plaintiffs file Complaint