Case: Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Moore

20-cvs-500147 | North Carolina state trial court

Filed Date: Sept. 3, 2020

Closed Date: Dec. 22, 2022

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Abortion providers in North Carolina (Planned Parenthood South Atlantic; A Woman’s Choice of Charlotte; A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro; A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh; three doctors; and an advanced practice clinician), and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective filed this case on September 3, 2020 to challenge five medically unnecessary abortion restrictions (the “Abortion Restrictions”): The Advanced Practice Clinician (“APC”) Ban, which disallows qualified physician assistan…

Abortion providers in North Carolina (Planned Parenthood South Atlantic; A Woman’s Choice of Charlotte; A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro; A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh; three doctors; and an advanced practice clinician), and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective filed this case on September 3, 2020 to challenge five medically unnecessary abortion restrictions (the “Abortion Restrictions”):

  1. The Advanced Practice Clinician (“APC”) Ban, which disallows qualified physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners from dispensing medication abortion
  2. The Telemedicine Ban, which bans telemedicine for abortion, but allows it for other medical care in North Carolina
  3. The Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (“TRAP”) Scheme, which subjects non-hospital affiliated providers, such as Planned Parenthood, to onerous and medically unjustified requirements that no other providers of office-based medical care must meet, thus interfering with—and in some cases outright preventing—the provision of abortion services
  4. The 72-Hour Mandatory Delay, which requires abortion patients to wait a minimum of 72 hours after receiving state-mandated counseling before they can obtain an abortion
  5. A requirement that every person seeking an abortion undergo biased state-scripted counselling.

SisterSong and the providers say that the Abortion Restrictions burden, restrict, and discriminate against them and their patients, violating their state constitution’s equal protection and procedural and substantive due process civil rights. They also cite impacts: pushing abortion out of reach in the state and forcing patients to suffer the psychological, financial, logistical, emotional, and dignitary harms of maintaining an unwanted pregnancy; with a disproportionally detrimental impact on communities of color.  They are represented by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and a private law firm.  They sought declaratory relief and a permanent injunction in the Tenth Judicial District, Superior Court Division.

North Carolina filed a Motion to Dismiss on November 16, 2020, arguing non-justiciability and lack of standing–but Judge Rebecca W. Holt rejected their standing arguments on May 28, 2021 and referred the non-standing issues to a three-judge panel, per state judicial rules. The three-judge panel did not issue a decision.

On October 17, 2022, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for a partial preliminary injunction on the APC Ban, in particular, arguing that it was likely to succeed on the merits. The preliminary injunction motion had also not been decided. The trial on the rest of the case was scheduled for September 2023.

On December 22, 2022, the Plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice against all Defendants. 

Summary Authors

Sophia Bucci (11/29/2022)

Michelle Wolk (1/3/2022)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-cvs-500147

Complaint

Sept. 3, 2020

Sept. 3, 2020

Complaint

20-cvs-500147

Order on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

Order/Opinion

20-cvs-500147

Plaintiffs' Motion for a Partial Preliminary Injunction

Oct. 17, 2022

Oct. 17, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 3, 2020

Closing Date: Dec. 22, 2022

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Numerous North Carolina abortion providers and affiliated staff and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Center

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

North Carolina, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Criminalization

Mandatory delay

Physician-only abortion laws

Telemedicine

Facility requirements

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)

General:

Abortion

Counseling

Affected Sex or Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit