West Alabama Women’s Center v. Miller

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two abortion providers challenging a regulation requiring that doctors either have staff privileges at a local hospital or a written agreement with a local physician who has such privileges or, if they are unable to comply with the staff privileges/covering physician requirement, to give patients a copy of their medical record before they leave the facility.

Plaintiffs allege that the latter requirement would jeopardize the privacy of their patients—some of whom include victims of domestic abuse—because the requirement forces patients to receive a paper trail of reproductive health care.”

The lawsuit also challenged two laws: SB 205, which prohibits the Alabama Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing a health center license to an abortion clinic or reproductive health center that is located within 2000 feet of a K-8 public school and SB 363 which bans dilation and evacuation (D and E) the most common method of second-trimester abortion.

In particular, plaintiffs allege that SB 205 “would shutter the two clinics that provide well over half of the abortions in Alabama, and the only providers of abortion services throughout the second trimester.”


On July 13, 2016, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing SB 205 and SB 363. On October 27, 2016, Judge Thompson ruled that the two laws are unconstitutional and blocked them.

The parties agreed to settle the challenge regarding the admitting privileges regulation, and that claim was dismissed.


**last updated March 15, 2017