Government & Politics

Abortion services to expand in Missouri after judge issues injunction

Supporters and opponents of abortion rights demonstrated in July 2015 outside the Planned Parenthood in Columbia. Planned Parenthood organizations that operate in Missouri said Wednesday they will expand abortion services to in midtown Kansas City, Columbia, Joplin and Springfield after a judge halted a state law restricting the practice.
Supporters and opponents of abortion rights demonstrated in July 2015 outside the Planned Parenthood in Columbia. Planned Parenthood organizations that operate in Missouri said Wednesday they will expand abortion services to in midtown Kansas City, Columbia, Joplin and Springfield after a judge halted a state law restricting the practice. Columbia Daily Tribune via The Associated Press

Planned Parenthood organizations that operate in Missouri said Wednesday they will expand abortion services to four more locations after a judge halted a state law restricting the practice.

The Missouri law required hospital admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions and required clinics that provide abortions to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers. The law was similar to one in Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down last June, after it sharply reduced the number of abortion providers there.

Officials with Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri had said they could offer abortions at more locations throughout the state within weeks if U.S. District Court Judge Howard Sachs granted the injunction.

The leaders of the two groups, Laura McQuade and Mary Kogut, issued a joint statement Wednesday praising Sachs’ decision, which he previewed in a memo to the parties involved two weeks ago.

“Together, we are excited to end Missouri’s shameful one-provider status, and soon be offering four more locations where women can access safe, legal abortion without facing geographical obstacles,” the statement said. “We are proud to say this is a step forward in ensuring abortion is more than a right in name only.”

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, said the four additional locations are in midtown Kansas City, Columbia, Joplin and Springfield.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, 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.”

Andy Marso: 816-234-4055, @andymarso

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