Bryant v. Woodall
Bryant v. Woodall (U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, June 16, 2021): The 4th Circuit held that a group of abortion providers had standing to challenge a North Carolina abortion law limiting pre-viability abortions and affirmed the lower court’s decision blocking the provision. The defendants, including North Carolina District Attorney Jim Woodall in his official capacity, alleged that the providers lacked standing to challenge the provision because they did not face a credible risk of prosecution (enforcement). They argued that there could not be a credible risk of prosecution because the state had not prosecuted any abortion providers under the challenged provisions since 1973. The court disagreed, pointing to the legislature’s recent revisions to the statutory scheme in 2015 as evidence of a renewed interest in regulating abortion and credible risk of prosecution for the providers, enabling them to challenge the law. Read the decision here.