Planned Parenthood officials in Missouri want a federal judge to block abortion regulations so four additional clinics can offer the procedure.
Leaders on Monday requested some regulations be put on hold while a court case over the constitutionality of the laws plays out. Planned Parenthood affiliates filed the case Nov. 30 challenging two state laws they say are unconstitutional.
The laws require abortion clinics to meet standards for surgical centers and that their doctors have privileges in a nearby hospital.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled similar Texas regulations unconstitutional.
Laura McQuade and Mary Kogut said Planned Parenthood plans to offer drug-induced and surgical abortions in Columbia and Springfield if regulations are temporarily blocked. They said drug-induced abortions also would be offered in Joplin and Kansas City.
The women are presidents and CEOs of Missouri’s Planned Parenthood centers.
Missouri now only has one abortion clinic — a Planned Parenthood center in St. Louis.
Opponents of Planned Parenthood’s legal actions gathered Monday outside the clinic in Kansas City and scheduled simultaneous gatherings in St. Louis, Columbia, Springfield and Joplin.
“This latest action is yet another demonstration of Planned Parenthood’s staggering disregard for the health and well-being of Missouri’s women,” the opponents said in a news release.
Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican, was among the speakers addressing about a dozen people outside the Kansas City clinic.
“All surgical centers have to abide by our state laws,” Brattin said. “How is it that an organization does not have to abide by the same laws of every other surgical center in this state?”
The Star’s Matt Campbell contributed to this report.