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Case Name Women's Health Center of West Virginia v. Morrisey PB-WV-0005
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00293 ( S.D. W. Va. )
State/Territory West Virginia
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On March 31, 2020, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued Executive Order (EO) 16-20 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The EO was intended to promote public health and safety by limiting movement throughout the state and conserving limited medical resources and personnel. The Order indefinitely ... read more >
On March 31, 2020, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued Executive Order (EO) 16-20 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The EO was intended to promote public health and safety by limiting movement throughout the state and conserving limited medical resources and personnel. The Order indefinitely banned all "elective medical procedures". EO 16-20 prevented the plaintiff, Women’s Health Center (WHC) of West Virginia, from performing abortions except under extremely narrow circumstances. WHC is the only outpatient healthcare facility in West Virginia that provides abortions. On April 24, 2020, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The plaintiff sued West Virginia, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the West Virginia Board of Medicine, and the prosecuting attorney for Kanawha County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201.

The plaintiff, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of West Virginia and private counsel, sought injunctive and declaratory relief claiming violations of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause. The complain alleged that West Virginia Executive Order 16-20 violated patients’ constitutional rights by prohibiting "elective medical procedures.” Specifically, the way the defendants interpreted the Order prevented the plaintiff from providing abortions unless the patient is at or near the legal limit for medication abortion or the patient is at or near the point after which she could not obtain any abortion. Over 90% of the abortions the plaintiff had scheduled before the Order went into effect had to be cancelled or rescheduled.

On April 20, 2020 the Governor issued Executive Order 28-20, which amended Executive Order 16-20 to allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers regulated by the Office of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification (OHFLAC) to submit a plan asking permission to resume urgent elective medical procedures. The plaintiff is not a hospital or ambulatory surgical center and was not eligible to submit a plan.

On April 24, 2020 the plaintiff filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent defendants from enforcing Executive Order 16-20. On April 28, 2020, the defendant notified the court of yet another Executive Order 30-20, with an effective date of April 30, 2020. Executive Order 30-20 terminated Executive Order 16-20 for all facilities and health care providers except for hospitals and surgical centers regulated by OHFLAC. Executive Order 30-20 allowed clinics, offices and other facilities operated by or with licensed medical or health care professionals to resume all operations and procedures, including elective procedures. This Order allowed the plaintiff to resume its daily operations and continue to provide abortions. {WHY?}

Because EO 30-20 solved its problem, on May 6, 2020, the plaintiff filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. On May 7, 2020 Chief Judge Thomas E. Johnston entered a dismissal order and the case was dismissed without prejudice. The case is now closed.

Sabrina Glavota - 05/19/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
General
Abortion
Medical/Mental Health
Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Prosecuting Attorney for Kanawha County
West Virginia
West Virginia Board of Medicine
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Plaintiff Description Women's Health Center of West Virginia - non-profit organization; the only outpatient healthcare facility in the state that performs abortions
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 04/24/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
2:20-cv-00293 (S.D. W. Va.)
PB-WV-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 1]
PB-WV-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 3]
PB-WV-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice [ECF# 32]
PB-WV-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Notice of Voluntary Dismissal [ECF# 34]
PB-WV-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Johnston, Thomas E. (S.D. W. Va.) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002
Camp, Susan Talcott (New York) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Parker, Kimberly (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Prizgintas, Albinas J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Schoenfeld, Alan E. (New York) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Stark, Loree Beth (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-0004 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Watson, Elizabeth Karin (New York) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Wolfson, Paul Reinherz (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0001 | PB-WV-0005-0002 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Masslon, John Mercer II (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0003 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Morrisey, Patrick (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0003
See, Lindsay Sara (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-0003 | PB-WV-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Smith, Nicola Dare (West Virginia) show/hide docs
PB-WV-0005-9000

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