Judge Plans To Strike Down Missouri Abortion Restrictions
A federal judge says he plans to block Missouri’s abortion clinic restrictions in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last June.
In a “Memorandum to Counsel” on Monday, U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs said he would grant the preliminary injunction requested by Planned Parenthood, but would give the state additional time to avoid “unintended damage” to standard medical regulations.
Missouri’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates sued the state in November after the Supreme Court struck down Texas restrictions that were nearly identical to Missouri’s.
Like the Texas laws found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Missouri requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and to physically upgrade their facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.
Supporters defend the restrictions as aimed at protecting women’s health. Critics say they’re intended to shut down abortion providers by imposing unnecessary and burdensome requirements.
Sachs’ two-page memo said he had decided to block both the hospital affiliation requirement for abortion doctors and the requirements that abortion clinics meet the requirements imposed on ambulatory surgical centers.
However, he gave the state 10 days to submit a plan to prevent the disabling of other, valid state regulations.