Judge denies Planned Parenthood an injunction against Missouri abortion law

Planned Parenthood

A judge has just denied a request from Planned Parenthood to place a new Missouri law on hold, and that decision will force the abortion chain to stop committing medication abortions at two of its facilities.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains requested an injunction against the law requiring an abortionist to contract with an OB/GYN who has admitting privileges at a local hospital. Judge Beth Phillips refused, and noted that while she doesn’t believe the law actually makes abortion any safer for women, she also didn’t think it placed an “undue burden” on them,. Both surgical and medication abortions will continue to be committed across the state.

“A state regulation that increases the distance a woman must travel or the expense of the procedure will not, alone, constitute an undue burden,” Phillips wrote in her ruling. “… It is not enough for the regulation to make it more difficult for women to obtain an abortion; instead, it must be a substantial burden on their ability to obtain an abortion.”

READ: Abortion centers are closing because women don’t need them

Planned Parenthood, unsurprisingly, was not happy. “Politicians and state regulators, ignoring medical evidence, continue to impose arbitrary restrictions that harm the women they purportedly serve,” a statement read “… We are confident this unnecessary regulation will ultimately be overturned.”

Despite its request for an injunction being denied, Planned Parenthood still plans to file a lawsuit in October. In the meantime, medication abortions will cease to be committed at two of their facilities, in Springfield and Columbia. The Planned Parenthood facility in Kansas City was previously able to comply with the law, which has been in place since October of 2017, but also had to stop committing abortions, due to a lack of interest from women as well as difficulty finding an abortionist.

While medication abortions are billed as safer options for women, they carry significant risks. The process of a medication abortion takes several days, starting when the mother takes mifepristone, also known as RU-486, which blocks her preborn baby from receiving progesterone. This causes the lining of the mother’s uterus to break down, and the baby is starved of the oxygen and nutrients he needs to survive. After 24 to 48 hours has passed, she takes a second pill, called misoprostol, which causes contractions, so her body will deliver the body of her dead baby.

While medication abortions are considered less risky for the mother than a surgical abortion, women have died after undergoing medication abortions, usually from infection or an undiagnosed ectopic or extra-uterine pregnancy — which is why a physician is needed to oversee the process. But even for women who survive, the process of a medication abortion can be much more brutal than they are led to believe; side effects include hemorrhage, painful cramping and contractions, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

And while Planned Parenthood hopes to see Missouri’s new law overturned, pro-lifers believe it will remain in place. Samuel Lee, a lobbyist for Campaign for Life Missouri, argued that, “despite Judge Phillips’ position that this law may not have had as much benefit to women as the state of Missouri says, we believe this law is a great benefit to women who are injured or potentially injured by drug-induced abortions.”

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