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Federal Court Rebukes Planned Parenthood, Lets Missouri Enforce Abortion Regulations

Calvin Freiburger : Sep 12, 2018 :

The abortion organization fears that the rules will force its Columbia facility to stop committing abortions and interfere with efforts to start abortions in Kansas City, Joplin, and Springfield. All of this would leave one St. Louis location as the state's only abortion performer.

(Jefferson City, MO)—[] Missouri officials can enforce rules mandating basic health and safety standards for abortion facilities, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday. (Photo: Creative Commons/Pixabay)

A three-judge panel reversed a lower court's injunction against the laws, the Kansas City Star reported, which requires abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals for potential medical complications, and that abortion facilities adhere to the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood argued that the requirements would place harmful burdens on women seeking abortions, but the state argued that it never got the chance to make its case that the requirements were better for women's health. The judges agreed, ordering the lower court to reconsider the case and, "at the very least, weigh the state's asserted benefits against the burdens associated with the requirement."

"We're very happy that the court of appeals reversed the lower court decision and we think when the district court looks at it again, they will uphold the law because it protects the health and safety of women who are seeking abortions in Missouri without imposing an undue burden on them," state pro-life lobbyist Samuel Lee said.

The abortion industry argued that the requirements were "virtually identical" to those already invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016's Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. But the law's defenders argued that a Missouri provision allowing state health officials to waive the ambulatory requirements on a case-by-case basis made a key difference.

There is "not sufficient information at this point" to evaluate the use of those waivers, the Eighth Circuit panel said, so it agreed that determining the merits of an injunction would be premature.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains general counsel Emily Wales said her clients are currently deciding whether to seek a review by the full Eighth Circuit, the Associated Press reported... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here.

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