On October 12, 2005, plaintiff filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against the Missouri Department of Corrections [DOC], challenging the DOC's refusal to transport plaintiff to an off-site medical clinic so that she could receive a nontherapeutic abortion. The complaint alleged that that the prison's policy that female prisoners would not be sent out of their institutions for abortions that are not medically necessary deprived plaintiff of her Fourteenth Amendment right to reproductive choice. The complaint further alleged that that by forcing her to carry her an unwanted pregnancy to term, the prison was deliberately indifferent to her serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff, represented by the ACLU, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. An emergency motion for a TRO was filed simultaneously with the complaint.
On October 13, 2005, the District Court (Judge Dean Whipple) granted Plaintiff's motion for TRO and ordered Defendant to transport Plaintiff to Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis (RHS) in St. Louis, Missouri to receive medical services to terminate her pregnancy. Defendant filed a notice of appeal and moved for a stay of the TRO pending appeal. The Court denied the request on October 14, 2005 and entered an Order and Modified Judgment of Preliminary Injunction. Roe v. Crawford, 396 F.Supp.2d 1041 (W.D.Mo. 2005).
On October 14, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that the Modified Judgment of October 14, 2005 be stayed pending further order by Justice Thomas. On October 17, 2005, U.S. Supreme Court vacated the temporary stay entered on October 14, 2005 and denied the application for stay. Crawford v. Roe, 126 S.Ct. 477 (U.S. 2005). The District Court then entered another Modified Judgment of Preliminary Injunction, again ordering the DOC to transport Plaintiff to an outside facility for the purpose of receiving medical services to terminate her pregnancy. The DOC complied with the order and Plaintiff was so transported on October 20, 2005.
Plaintiff amended her complaint on October 19, 2005 and moved to certify the action as a class action. On November 28, 2005, the District Court certified the class.
The parties then filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The District Court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and denied defendants' motion, finding that the DOC policy prohibiting transportation of female inmates for abortion procedures violated both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Roe v. Crawford, 439 F.Supp.2d 942 (W.D.Mo. 2006). The Court awarded fees and costs to the Plaintiffs.
On November 29, 2006, the Court granted Defendants' unopposed motion to amend the judgment and stay payment of fees and costs pending resolution of Defendants' appeal.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment, but found that the District Court erred in its finding that the DOC policy was invalid under the Eighth Amendment. The Appeals Court found no Eighth Amendment violation but determined that the DOC policy could not be maintained under the Fourteenth Amendment in light of Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89-91 (1987).
The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on November 17, 2008, ending the case. Dan Dalton - 07/19/2012