Federal Judge denies preliminary injunction, upholds Missouri’s Pro-Life Regulations

Planned Parenthood Fails at Third Attempt to Eliminate Safety Provisions Designed to Protect Women’s Health, Missouri at an All-Time Low for Number of Abortions

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Last week, the U.S. District court for the Western District of Missouri denied a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains (Planned Parenthood) in their lawsuit v. Dr. Randall Williams and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). As a result of this decision, the Columbia, Missouri, Planned Parenthood facility remains unable to perform abortions due to its inability to adequately care for women should complications arise following an abortion.

“This is a huge victory for protecting women’s health and the right to life,” said Governor Mike Parson. “It’s sad that Planned Parenthood continues to fight against ensuring that a woman’s abortion provider has privileges to a nearby hospital when complications arise. As a former member of the Missouri General Assembly, I was proud to cast votes in support of protecting life and women’s health that have now been upheld in the court of law.”

Gov. Parson added, “As other states in our nation, like New York and Virginia, venture further and further away from the American ideal to uphold the right to life, I’m honored to lead a state with so many people committed to standing up for those without a voice. Thanks to decades of conservative, pro-life leadership, Missouri recently hit an all-time low for the number of abortions.”

In October 2018, the same federal court declined to issue an injunction against state law requiring physicians performing abortions at the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility to have hospital privileges. As the court stated, this is because the Columbia abortion facility was not compliant with state sanitation regulations, after a routine safety inspection discovered apparent black mold and bodily fluid in equipment used to treat patients.

“We appreciate the District Court’s ruling that permits the same standards of care for women that is associated with other invasive surgical procedures,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. As stated in his attestation to the Court, “This is not a burden but a responsibility that physicians dedicated to caring for their patients exercise daily to ensure their patients’ safety by timely providing care at a time patients need it the most, during complications.”

“Missouri Right to Life and pro-life Missourians across the State of Missouri are relieved and thankful at the recent ruling of Judge Wimes,” said Steve Rupp, President of Missouri Right to Life. “The judge found that the requirement in Missouri statute from the passage of SB 5 to require hospital privileges within a 30-mile radius of the abortion facility does not present a ‘substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking an abortion.’

“In their filings last month, Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office argued that the complication rate from abortions in Missouri ‘is almost double the national complication rate of 2.1 percent predicted by Plaintiffs.’ Since 2009, over 60 ambulances have been called to the Planned Parenthood in St Louis. Schmitt’s office also argued that the Columbia Planned Parenthood facility has a long history of health and safety violations.

“Thankfully, the number of operating abortion facilities in Missouri will remain at one. Every day abortions are offered, women are put in harm’s way and unborn babies die.

“We thank Attorney General Eric Schmitt for fighting for these critical laws to protect women’s health and well-being.”

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