Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit that aims to block Missouri’s toughened abortion restrictions passed during a special legislative session this year. The new laws are set to begin on October 24.
The organizations are challenging the state about a provision that makes the same doctor performing a patient’s abortion to discuss the medical risks 72 hours before the pregnancy is terminated. The groups say the condition will result in delays of up to three to four weeks for women to access abortion and it will end care for some women entirely.
A written statement from Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO Aaron Samulcek says:
“We all want women to have the information and support they need to make a decision about a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood health centers provide every woman with accurate information, counseling and support to make personal medical decisions that are best for her health and well-being. This law is political interference at its worst. It will force women to wait weeks for an abortion, or take that decision away from her altogether.”
The legislation requires:
●Clinics to have plans for possible complications arising from abortions
●Charging clinic employees with a misdemeanor offense if they interfere with the work of emergency responders
●Clinics to submit to unannounced annual inspections
●Whistleblower protections for staff
●Allowing the attorney general’s office to investigate any violations of Missouri abortion law
●The tracking of fetal tissue taken during an abortion
State Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, has championed legislation that would tighten restrictions on fetal tissue.
“I think that especially important that I’ve worked on have been the fetal tissue portion of that, the tracking of that, so we have the assurance that it is indeed going where it should be going,” Franklin says.
The new law also contains a provision meant to protect non-abortion performing pregnancy centers from a St. Louis ordinance which prohibits discrimination based on reproductive decisions and birth control use.