by Steven Ertelt
December 7, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge has allowed the 24 hour waiting period component of an abortion Right to Know measure take effect, but he’s not allowing the information aspect of the measure to be enforced. That aspect of the law would require abortion practitioners to ensure that women are provided information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
Under the law, the information would include "risk factors, including any physical, psychological or situational factors for the [abortion]."
The measure was scheduled to become law in September 2003 when state lawmakers overrode a veto from then-Governor Bob Holden, a pro-abortion Democrat. But Planned Parenthood abortion businesses took the measure to court to prevent its implementation.
Judge Scott Wright, who issued the latest ruling, issued a temporary restraining order against the law, which the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily lifted in may 2004.
Wright issued a second injunction after the appeals court ruling, prohibiting the law from taking effect under a separate state challenge.
A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 ruled 2-1 to uphold certain elements of Wright’s second injunction, requiring the order be sent back to Wright for modifications that would make the injunction more restrictive.
With the exception of medical emergencies, Wright said in his new order that abortion practitioners must discuss "truthful, nonmisleading information of the nature of the proposed procedure" 24 hours prior to an abortion.
Judge Wright also said abortion practitioners must make sure they obtain written consent before performing an abortion.
Observers say Wright is attempting to make sure Missouri law conforms with the 1992 Supreme Court decision in Casey that upheld a Pennsylvania abortion information and waiting period law.