by Steven Ertelt
September 20, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has blocked a new Missouri law intended to reduce the number of abortions from going into effect. Abortion businesses had sued to stop the measure, which requires parental notification for teens and helps women victimized by botched abortions find quick medical care at a local hospital.
However, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey granted abortion advocates’ request for a temporary injunction and ruled that the measure threatens "immediate and irreparable harm" to the Springfield Healthcare Center, an abortion facility that had to close as a result of the law.
One provision in the bill, signed by Governor Matt Blunt last week, requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30 mile radius of the abortion business.
The abortion practitioner at Springfield Healthcare Center is not allowed to practice medicine at any local hospital. That would jeopardize the lives of women who are injured by an abortion and need emergency medical attention that the abortion facility can’t provide.
Laughrey’s decision blocks the law from going into effect until it can move through the court process.
She claimed the law "threatens an immediate chilling effect on all abortion counseling within Missouri and nearby states until the scope of the provision can be determined."
Pro-life state Sen. John Loudon (R), who sponsored the bill, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch the ruling is "classic judicial activism," but he said he’s confident it will ultimately stand up in courts.
Blunt spokesperson Jessica Robinson added, "We stand by this good pro-life law that will reduce the number of abortions in our state and look forward to debating its merits before the court."
Springfield Health Care Center Administrator Michelle Collins previously said her abortion business had stopped performing abortions, but she said the ruling will allow them to resume on Monday.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based pro-abortion law firm filed the suit on the abortion center’s behalf.
Another lawsuit challenging enforcement of the law — filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and several other organizations that do abortions has not yet had a hearing.