Missouri Judge Issues Ruling Blocking Secret Teen Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 7, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Judge Issues Ruling Blocking Secret Teen Abortion Law Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 7, 2005

Kansas City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A Missouri judge has issued an order blocking a state abortion law that mandates that only the legal parents or guardian of a teenager may take her to another state for an abortion. The injunction will prevent the law from being enforced while the lawsuit against it continues.

The law also says abortion practitioners must have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case of a botched abortion and that provision is already partly responsible for closing an abortion center in Springfield.

The order extends a ruling by Jackson County Circuit Judge Charles Atwell, who issued a temporary restraining order against the law in the first of two lawsuits abortion advocates filed against the measure by Planned Parenthood.

Atwell said he put his order in place to allow him more time to examine the issues in the case and make a final ruling. However, he also wrote that he thought the law was unconstitutional because he claims it violates the rights of abortion businesses to talk to teenagers about abortions.

Planned Parenthood claims it would be violating the law by talking with a teen who eventually went out of state with someone other than her parents for an abortion.

Atwell’s ruling applies only to the out-of-state provision in the law the legislature approved and does not apply to the admitting privileges requirement.

Assistant Attorney General Vickie Mahon argued that it was unfair to single out the one provision in the law and said the abortion facility’s First Amendment rights would be violated only if it encouraged teens to go out of state for secret abortions.