Planned Parenthood loses in Court of Appeals - Missouri abortion laws reinstated
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-09-12

The state of Missouri put in place laws requiring clinics that provide abortions to be set up as ambulatory surgical centers and required abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Planned Parenthood challenged the law in court and, back in April, US District Court Judge Howard Sachs issued an injunction to stop enforcement of the law. Planned Parenthood celebrated the injunction and moved forward to open more abortion facilities in the state.

At the time, Missouri attorney general, Josh Hawley, issued a statement saying he plans to challenge Sachs’ decision. “Today a federal court struck down large portions of Missouri law that protect the health and safety of women who seek to obtain an abortion,” said Hawley. “This decision was wrong. I will appeal. Missouri has an obligation to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing medical procedures in state licensed medical facilities.”

Missouri did appeal the issuance of the injunction based in part on the fact that the state did not have an opportunity to present its side of the case before Judge Sachs issued his injunction. The appeal was filed in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This week, a three-judge panel of that appeals court struck down the injunction and sent the case back to the lower court, with instructions to, at the very least, weigh the state’s asserted benefits against the Planned Parenthood’s asserted burdens associated with the requirement.

Planned Parenthood reacted immediately. The Kansas City Star reported Planned Parenthood said this week’s decision will force it to suspend abortion services in Columbia and delay plans to expand into Joplin and Springfield and jeopardize the Kansas City clinic’s efforts to regain its license, which expired last month after its doctor left in March. Planned Parenthood is considering further legal action and desperately wants to open more abortion facilities in Missouri.

Thank God for this week’s decision by the appeals court. We congratulate pro-lifers in Missouri, as well as Attorney General Josh Hawley, for never giving up their efforts to save preborn children in the “Show-Me State.”