Lawsuits

Court Cases Related to TRAP currently in Virginia:

Henrico (Melendez, Itzel Et. Al v. Virginia State Board of Health; filed 4/20/17, CL17001164-00, Henrico County Circuit Court, Virginia. – demurrer denied, case proceeding, Date for trial set to 1/11/19 at 9:30 AM for 2 Hours.)

  • Summary: Plaintiffs filed suit after Virginia’s Board of Health made changes to the TRAP regulations to make the regulations conform to the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt standard by removing many of the building code and facility requirements that were a part of the original regulatory scheme. The case has been scheduled to November of 2019 so that the trial will take place after the federal challenge to the TRAP regulatory scheme in Falls Church et. All v. Norman Oliver is resolved).

Arlington (Falls Church Medical Center v. Virginia Board of Health and Virginia Department of Health and Dr. Cynthia Romero; filed 5/10/13; set for trial 11/9/18, Circuit Court Arlington).

  • Summary: Plaintiffs (abortion provider) filed suit after the original, 2011, TRAP statute and regulations were promulgated, including the building code and facility requirements that caused the closure of several abortion providers before they were repealed through regulatory action in 2016. This is a challenge in state court and will likely be continued due to the subsequent federal challenge and current TRAP regulatory action. Please check back here for a progress report after the 11/9/2018 hearing.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA: Richmond Division (Falls Church Healthcare Center et al. v Norman Oliver et al.; filed on June 20, 2018; Motion to Dismiss filed by the AG Mark Herring and denied by the Court, trial scheduled April 8, 2019.)

  • Summary: This is the newest case of the three and was filed this summer by a group of abortion providers challenging the constitutionality of many of the abortion provisions in Virginia’s statutory and administrative codes. The specific legal challenges are outlined below. The case is a comprehensive effort to clean up the abortion laws in Virginia and bring them in conformity with both the text and the spirit of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Supreme Court decision. To read more about the suit and see the legal documents, click HERE.
  • Plaintiffs:
    • FALLS CHURCH MEDICAL CENTER, LLC d/b/a FALLS CHURCH HEALTHCARE CENTER, on behalf of its patients, physicians, and staff;
    • WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH ALLIANCE, on behalf of its patients, physicians, and staff; ALL
    • WOMEN’S RICHMOND, INC. d/b/a A CAPITAL WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINIC, on behalf of its patients, physicians, and staff;
    • VIRGINIA LEAGUE FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD, each on behalf of its patients, physicians, and staff,
  • Represented by, among others Virginia ACLU, CRR, and PPFA.
  • Defendants Represented by AG Mark Herring:
    • M. NORMAN OLIVER, Virginia Health Commissioner;
    • ROBERT PAYNE, Acting Director of Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification;
    • FAYE O. PRICHARD, Chairperson of the Virginia Board of Health;
    • THEOPHANI STAMOS, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church;
    • ROBERT TRACCI, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County (filed Sep. motion);
    • SHANNON L. TAYLOR, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Henrico County;
    • ANTON BELL, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Hampton;
    • MICHAEL N. HERRING, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond; and
    • COLIN STOLLE, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach
  • Legal Challenges, the suit alleges that the following portions of VA abortion-related legislation and regulations are unconstitutional:
    • Licensing Scheme – TRAP Statute and Regulations
    • Physician-Only Law
    • 2nd Trimester Hospital Requirement
    • Two-Trip Mandatory Delay Law
    • Criminalization Laws

To read about the landmark Supreme Court case that reaffirmed a woman’s right to choose as a constitutionally protected fundamental rights and rejected the state’s ability to create undue burdens on abortion access, categorizing regulations that create no medical benefit as undue by default click here: Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.