Judge Joseph Boohaker of the Jefferson County, Alabama circuit court held a hearing last week in the ongoing battle to close the dangerous abortion clinic, New Women, All Women (NWAW). The Alabama Department of Public Health(DPH) forced the clinic to close a year ago for health and safety violations after reports from pro-life advocates demonstrated the danger it posed to women’s health. Since that time, several applications by NWAW for licensure have been denied, because there has been a complete failure to demonstrate that health and safety violations have been remedied. But the clinic recently re-opened for business—including abortion—without obtaining a license. This blatant disregard for the law has led the DPH to seek a court order stopping the illegal operation of the clinic.
Last week’s hearing centered on NWAW’s motion to dismiss the complaint. In their briefs, they argued that the DPH did not have jurisdiction to bring the suit. According to observers in the courtroom, the judge met with the attorneys for both sides in chambers prior to the hearing. Upon completion of this conference, counsel for NWAW withdrew their motion to dismiss.
Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Executive Director, Dana Cody, who was in the courtroom for the hearing, expressed her pleasure at the outcome: “The expedited hearing schedule indicates that Judge Boohaker understands that women’s safety is at risk. LLDF will continue to monitor this case and may intervene, if necessary, to see that NWAW’s defiance of the law and disregard for the safety of women are stopped.”
The legal battle will continue with NWAW to submit their answer to the complaint, discovery and a hearing on the merits scheduled for early in August.
Following the hearing, Ms. Cody appeared on Birmingham’s Fox News 6, providing comments on the need for proper regulation of abortion clinics. In the wake of the Gosnell trial, unsafe abortion clinic practices have garnered increased media attention. Last week’s hearing has been the center of several media reports, such as the following: Live Action News, Citizen Link, AL.com, and the San Francisco Chronicle.