Orrick Pro Bono Team Leads Planned Parenthood Legal Challenge to Abortion Restrictions in Louisiana


Backed by an Orrick pro bono team, Planned Parenthood today filed suit in federal district court in Baton Rouge to challenge Louisiana’s restrictions on access to abortion services. Specifically, the complaint challenges the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for unconstitutionally restricting abortion access for women in New Orleans.

Planned Parenthood seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the department from blocking its abortion license application, which has been pending for nearly 17 months. For the last several years, politicians in Louisiana have repeatedly backed policies designed to block access to abortion and care at Planned Parenthood. Since 2011 alone, the state has passed 20 restrictions on safe, legal abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. This follows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s announcement last week of a sweeping plan to advance positive policies to expand access to reproductive health care at the state level.

The Orrick team representing Planned Parenthood in the case is led by IP partners Amy Van Zant and Mark Wine. A separate Orrick pro bono team led by partners Karen Johnson-McKewan and Lisa Simpson is representing Planned Parenthood in a similar challenge in Kentucky, where a lawsuit is pending before a federal judge in Louisville.

In addition to Mark and Amy, the Orrick team in the Louisiana challenge includes Easha Anand, Dylan Bensinger, Jennifer Argyle, Kourosh Jahansouz, Yekaterina Reyzis, David Rhinesmith, Chris Richart, Rachel Shalev, Rob Uriarte, Thomas Camilleri and Rene Kathawala. Orrick is joined in the litigation by Carrie Flaxman and Jennifer Keighley from Planned Parenthood, and local counsel with Delaney, Robb & Rubin.