A new requirement in Missouri that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges — prompted at least in part by a St. Louis Planned Parenthood business that has sent at least 69 women to hospitals in ambulances — have been endorsed by a federal appeals court.
A report from LifeNews documented the “terrible reputation” of the St. Louis abortion business, which has committed, according to state inspection reports, more than 200 health and safety violations that endanger women’s health.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a state requirement to protect patients by insisting that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies and that they meet the same basic health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Texas, although there are differences between the two.
The ruling frustrated Dawn Laguens of Planned Parenthood, which wanted to be relieved of such health and safety obligations.
“Despite a Supreme Court ruling striking down virtually identical restrictions in Texas, judges in the Eighth Circuit continue to re-write the books on abortion access,” she said. “Today’s ruling threatens to eliminate abortion access at all but one health center in the state.”
But even pro-abortion activists admit the differences in the law include that Missouri allows abortion clinics to be waived of various regulations.
Judge Bobby Shepherd, a George W. Bush appointee, explained that the challenge to these “physical plant” requirements may need to be delayed until after a clinic first tries to obtain a waiver.
Planned Parenthood could be forced to shut down one of its two abortion facilities in the state as a result of the ruling.
A report in Patch concluded the decision makes the future of abortion services in Missouri “uncertain.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said it will immediately begin enforcing the law.
Randall Williams, the department’s director, pointed out that the court “noted that the good faith of state officers and the validity of their actions are presumed.”
“As the director of DHSS, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist for thirty years, and a defendant in the case, my commitment and that of the department is to act in good faith to follow the law and protect the health and safety of all women in Missouri, including those seeking abortions,” he said.
The anti-abortion group Students for Life said in a statement that the ruling showed “the courts were right to respect efforts to protect women from abortion vendors who have made no plan for emergencies.”
“Legislators have every right to protect women and their preborn infants from disreputable abortionists.”