A federal appeals court handed pro-lifers a victory this week by reinstating a Missouri law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and abortion clinics to be set up as “ambulatory surgical centers.”
The 3-0 ruling Monday by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s injunction that prevented the law from going into effect.
The decision could suspend abortion services in Columbia, Mo., and prevent a Kansas City clinic from regaining its license, Planned Parenthood officials told The Kansas City Star.
“If these laws are allowed to take effect, women will now have to travel farther, wait longer, and use more of their own resources to access the health care they need most, if they can get care at all,” Brandon Hill, president and CEO of Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told the newspaper.
The law requires doctors at abortion clinics to be “privileged to perform surgical procedures in at least one licensed hospital in the community” – which by the law’s definition can be no more than 15 minutes away.
Pro-lifers say the law is designed to protect women who undergo abortions.
“We’re very happy that the court of appeals reversed the lower court decision and we think when the district court looks at it again, they will uphold the law because it protects the health and safety of women who are seeking abortions in Missouri without imposing an undue burden on them,” pro-life attorney Samuel Lee told The Kansas City Star.
The case eventually could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially with President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, sitting on the court.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Piron Guillaume
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.