Planned Parenthood Files Suit
The new law, House Bill 1055, has three parts. First, it bars representatives from abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood from public school classrooms. Second, the bill makes permanent the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program, a program that helps low-income pregnant women get prenatal care and necessities like food. Lastly, it forces clinics to meet higher medical and structural standards if they offer second or third trimester abortions or perform more than five first term abortions per month. The lawsuit targets the last part of the law.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri says the new law is unconstitutional and is seeking an injunction to prevent the law from affecting abortion clinic services while the case is being heard. One example of how the law would affect clinics: Planned Parenthood of Columbia says it would need $1.5 million in renovations to meet the new standards. They would have to make those renovations by Aug. 28. Before the injunction is approved, the clinic will have to stop offering abortions on that date. Planned Parenthood says the law infringes on the clinic's right to provide abortion services. The bills sponsor says the new law protects the safety of women.
"It is specifically intended to either make it difficult for providers like Planned Parenthood to provide abortion care or to make it impossible," Kansas and Mid-Missouri Planned Parenthood President Peter Brownlie said.
"My question is, what's Planned Parenthood afraid of? Women deserve to have their providers of abortion services come under the same careful scrutiny of the personnel, the procedures, and the facilities that apply to all other providers of medical services," Missouri State Rep. Therese Sander said.
Planned Parenthood is waiting to hear the court's decision on the injunction in the next couple of days. Planned Parenthood says it's prepared to go as far as it has to, even that means the Supreme Court.
Missouri Representative Therese Sander of Moberly is the sponsor of the bill, which was introduced on Mar. 6. The bill passed the House on May 16 and passed the Senate on the last day of the session. Governor Blunt signed it into law on July 6. Planned Parenthood filed its injunction Monday, and the law is scheduled to go into effect Aug 28.
Planned Parenthood of Columbia will continue to provide family planning services like contraception, STD testing, and information even if abortions aren't provided.