United States District Court, D. Idaho
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF THE GREAT NORTHWEST AND THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, a Washington corporation; MARY STARK, on behalf of herself and her patients, Plaintiffs,
LAWRENCE G. WASDEN, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Idaho; JAN M. BENNETTS, in her official capacity as Ada County Prosecuting Attorney; GRANT P. LOEBS, in his official capacity as Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney; THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF MEDICINE, in their official capacity; THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF NURSING, in their official capacity, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants' motion to certify the
Court's Order of July 24, 2019 for interlocutory appeal
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
(Dkt. 57.) After carefully considering the parties'
written memoranda and relevant case law, for the reasons the
follow, the Court will deny the motion.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian
Islands and Mary Stark, a nurse practitioner licensed to
practice advanced nursing in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon,
on behalf of herself and her patients, brought a civil rights
lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming an Idaho statute
that makes it unlawful for any person other than a physician
to perform an abortion violates the Constitution of the
United States of America. Plaintiffs allege Idaho's
“Physician-Only Law” violates their patients'
rights to liberty and privacy as guaranteed by the Due
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They also argue
the law violates equal protection rights of patients and
Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs), like Ms. Stark, under
the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
moved to dismiss the Complaint, asserting Plaintiffs'
substantive due process claims are foreclosed by binding
Supreme Court precedent, and that Plaintiffs failed to state
a claim for relief or meet the pleading requirements of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. (Dkt. 33.) After careful
consideration of the motion to dismiss, the Court denied it
in full. (Memorandum Decision and Order, Dkt. 54.)
denying the motion, the Court rejected the same argument
Defendants make here-that the Supreme Court's 1997
holding in Mazurek v. Armstrong controls the
disposition of Plaintiffs' due process-based undue burden
claims-and therefore, Plaintiff's claims are precluded as
a matter of law. (See Order, Dkt. 54 at 8-11. In
distinguishing this case from Mazurek, the Court
relied on Whole Woman's Health v.
Hellerstedt (WWH), wherein the Supreme Court
has most recently stated the analytical framework for undue
We begin with the standard, as described in Casey.
We recognize that the “State has a legitimate interest
in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical
procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure
maximum safety for the patient.” But, we added,
“a statute which, while furthering [a] valid state
interest, has the effect of placing a substantial obstacle in
the path of a woman's choice cannot be considered a
permissible means of serving its legitimate ends.”
Moreover, “[u]nnecessary health regulations that have
the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to
a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the
MDO, Dkt. 54 at 8 quoting WWH at 2309 (quoting
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 150 (1973), and
Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S.
833, 877-78 (1992)).
Court found “WWH cemented the Casey
standard as a contextual, fact-based inquiry where a trial
court must assess the impact of the alleged regulatory burden
as specifically applied.” Id. Provided this,
the Court concluded that the “fact-intensive balancing
inquiry required by WWH guides this Court's
approach” to Plaintiff's undue burden claims.
present motion argues the Court should certify the question
regarding whether the WWH standard applies to
Plaintiff's undue burden claims, or whether, as they
advance, the Supreme Court intended to draw a bright line
prohibiting undue burden claims based on state-made
physician-only laws, i.e. whether Mazurek forecloses
Plaintiffs' undue burden claims. The Defendants define
the “Mazurek question” as follows:
Whether Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968 (1997),
and the U.S. Supreme Court precedent relied on in
Mazurek, established a bright line rule precluding
Plaintiffs' substantive due process claim because in
order “to ensure the safety of the abortion procedure,
… States may mandate that only physicians perform
(Dkt. 57-1 at 2.)
Court will analyze the merits of ...