Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains et al v. Lyskowski et al
MEMORANDUM TO COUNSEL. Signed on 4/3/17 by District Judge Howard F. Sachs. (Diefenbach, Tracy) (Main Document 87 replaced on 4/4/2017) (Diefenbach, Tracy).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH OF PLANNED )
PARENTHOOD GREAT PLAINS, et al.
) Case No. 2:16-cv-04313-HFS
DR. RANDALL WILLIAMS, in his official
capacity as Director of the Missouri
Department of Health and Senior Services, )
MEMORANDUM TO COUNSEL
In the interest of providing time to the State defendants to work through a plan to
avoid collateral and unintended damage to standard medical regulations, I advise that I
have decided to grant a preliminary injunction to plaintiffs on the two issues presented in
their complaint, invalidating both the hospital affiliation requirement for doctors
performing abortions and the requirement that abortion clinics meet the requirements
imposed on Ambulatory Surgical Centers. The Supreme Court invalidated both these
aspects of regulation in Texas litigation last June. Missouri has not complied with that
The State defendants argue that this result will cause unintended collateral
damage, by deregulating abortion clinic requirements that are accepted as desirable
and were outside the concern of the Supreme Court in the Texas case. If the State
defendants are correct, the judgment to be entered could alleviate those concerns, and
counsel should prepare an appropriate judgment form while I write my opinion.
As I understand the problem, invalidating the ASC statutory requirement for
abortion clinics would disable the Director of the Department of Health and Senior
Services from using regulations authorized by the statute that would be rendered invalid
by the ruling. But I could probably accommodate that concern by staying the statutory
ruling as to ASCs for a specified period until the General Assembly can take action, and
allowing the Director to revise the regulations before the statutory change, to avoid
collateral harm. Prompt regulatory change within 60 or 90 days of my ruling seems
required to satisfy the pressing needs of those seeking abortions and the needs of the
plaintiffs to be prepared to offer the services which are protected by the Constitution.
There may be easier ways to avoid collateral damage, and plaintiffs’ counsel may
wish to be heard. To the extent an agreed procedural judgment can be submitted, that
would be welcome. I expect to allow ten days from my ruling for judgment proposals to
/s/ Howard F. Sachs
Howard F. Sachs
United States District Judge
April 4th 2017
Kansas City, Missouri
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