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Whole Woman’s Health v. Young (Texas)

(W.D. Tex. No. 1:16-cv-1300 / 5th Cir. Nos. 17-50154, 18-50730)

This case challenged a set of Texas laws that require healthcare providers to bury or cremate embryonic and fetal tissue following an abortion or miscarriage, regardless of their patients’ wishes.

A federal district court declared these laws unconstitutional and permanently enjoined their enforcement in September 2018, and the State appealed.  While the appeal was pending, the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Woman’s Health Organization, which overruled nearly fifty years of precedent holding that the Constitution protects abortion access as a fundamental right.  Because the plaintiffs’ claims were based on the right to abortion, they agreed to dismiss the case without prejudice.

“Without prejudice” means that the plaintiffs can bring a new case challenging these laws in the future, and they can assert other legal rights.


Executive Commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, in her official capacity


Center for Reproductive Rights; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Patrick J. O’Connell

Timeline and Key Documents:

September 5, 2018

Court of Appeals Hears Oral Argument

July 16-20, 2018

District Court Conducts Trial

June 6, 2017

Texas Enacts a New Statutory Scheme Governing the Disposition of Embryonic and Fetal Tissue to Take Effect on February 1, 2018

March 13, 2017

December 12, 2016