Court Orders North Carolina to Pay Fees in Lawsuit Against Forced Ultrasound Law
WASHINGTON DC - In another blow to anti-abortion politicians and extremists, a district judge in North Carolina ordered that the state pay a sum of over $1 million in payments to Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the firm of O’Melveny & Myers, which successfully fought to protect women from an unconstitutional North Carolina law. The law would have forced a woman to undergo a narrated ultrasound against her wishes before receiving an abortion. The law was first blocked by the district court and then a federal appeals court. The case was finalized when the U. S. Supreme Court declined to review the court of appeals ruling in January 2015.
This news comes as a Houston grand jury indicted David Daleiden and a Center for Medical Progress associate on charges related to the elaborate, illegal conspiracy to falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of improper activity. Lawmakers have used the fraudulent smear campaign to push legislation that would restrict women’s access to lifesaving medical care and to push an anti-abortion agenda despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This misguided law was bad medicine and the district court’s recent ruling is the latest blow against lawmakers and extremists who are pushing an anti-women agenda. We’ve seen the impact to women in states like Texas, where tens of thousands of women have gone without access to care. We are glad that the courts continue to recognize that these unconstitutional laws hurt women. We hope politicians, who are pushing an anti-women agenda based on a discredited smear campaign orchestrated by extremists who engaged in dangerous and illegal activity, pay attention and stop working to blocking access to safe medical care.”
Statement from Jenny Black, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic:
“This court order sends a message to lawmakers in Raleigh: not only is it unconstitutional for politicians to interfere in a woman’s personal medical decisions, it's expensive. Over the last three years, we’ve seen a record number of bills introduced, passed, and signed into law that restrict access to safe and legal abortion and insert politics directly into doctors’ offices. North Carolinians will not stand for restrictions that have nothing to do with protecting women or promoting health care."
Earlier this month,Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against Daleiden and a number of other anti-abortion extremists, alleging they had engaged in an elaborate, illegal conspiracy in order to block women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
In addition to Harris County, officials in twelve states (Nevada, Kansas, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have concluded investigations into claims that Planned Parenthood profited from fetal tissue donation and each one has cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.
Officials in eight states (California, Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate, citing a lack of any evidence to suggest wrongdoing.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
January 28, 2016