Planned Parenthood Wants Judge to Force Missouri to Let It Open Four Abortion Centers

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 12, 2016   |   7:38PM   |   Jefferson City, Missouri

Four Missouri Planned Parenthood abortion centers want to start doing abortion work again.

This week, the abortion chain’s two Missouri affiliates asked a judge to block the state from enforcing abortion regulations that prevent four Planned Parenthood facilities from doing abortions, the News-Leader reports.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region already filed a lawsuit challenging the two abortion laws in November. This new move asks a judge to block the regulations temporarily while their lawsuit continues, according to the report.

One of the Missouri regulations being challenged requires that abortion facilities are licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, and the other requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals in cases of patient emergencies.

The Missouri regulations are basic health and safety rules that are meant to protect patients. Many states implemented similar rules after news broke of the “house of horrors” Kermit Gosnell abortion case in Philadelphia. The gruesome case brought to light how states were failing to hold abortion facilities accountable to basic health and safety standards.

However, Planned Parenthood opposes the regulations, saying they deny women easy access to abortion. The group argues that the Missouri regulations are stopping it from offering abortions in Springfield, Joplin, Kansas City and Columbia. Currently, the only Planned Parenthood in Missouri that does abortions is in St. Louis.

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Here’s more from the report:

Planned Parenthood has argued that the rules violate the organizations Fourteenth Amendment rights by creating an undue burden and says the restrictions preventing them from offering abortions in Springfield, Joplin, Columbia and Kansas City “irreparably injure Missouri women.”

Similar rules in Texas were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in July.

In the Monday filing, Planned Parenthood argued that the injunction should be granted because it is likely to succeed, Planned Parenthood and its patients are suffering ongoing harm, the balance of harm favors Planned Parenthood and an injunction will serve the public interest.

In a statement, Missouri Planned Parenthood leaders commented, “Every day, there are countless Missourians who cannot afford the burdensome travel expenses and extended time it takes to seek safe, legal abortion in this state.”

It expects a federal judge will decide whether to grant the request in January or February, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If the judge sides with the abortion group, it said it will start doing abortions in Columbia and Kansas City again and expand abortions to its Joplin and Springfield facilities, the report states.

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, a pro-life lawmaker, responded to the lawsuit by questioning Planned Parenthood’s opposition to following basic health and safety standards.

“We don’t know why Planned Parenthood is so resistant to protecting the health of women and conforming to the same safety standards as other facilities that do surgical procedures,” Onder told the Post-Dispatch.