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Missouri to file rules laying out safety requirements when chemical abortifacients used

by | Oct 4, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Governor Eric Greitens signing HCS HB 5 into law on July 26.

Governor Eric Greitens signing HCS HB 5 into law on July 26.

The Health editor for KCUR in Missouri, Dan Margolies, posted a story yesterday about a development of keen interest to pro-lifers. His story begins ironically

The same day a federal appeals court overruled itself and voted to block two Missouri abortion restrictions, the state advised Missouri abortion providers that they will have to abide by a new restriction.

Margolies is referring to the 8th Circuit’s one-sentence order Monday that lifted the stay it had placed on a lower court decision which had enjoined two laws–one requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the other requiring abortion clinics to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers.

The “new restriction” is actually a set of rules promulgated by the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services [DHSS] under Senate Bill 5. As NRL News Today reported, Senate Bill 5 was passed in a special session called this year by Gov. Eric Greitens.

Among other provisions, “The law requires providers offering medical abortions [chemical abortions] to have complication plans approved by DHSS,” Margolies wrote. More specifically the October 2 DHSS memo “says the agency will file emergency rules on Oct. 24 establishing standards for ‘complication plans’ for medication-induced abortions,” according to Margolies’ story.

Aaron Samulcek is interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. He told KCUR the contracted-physician requirement was “unconstitutional” and “medically unnecessary.”

Planned Parenthood challenged a similar requirement in Arkansas–that if an abortion clinic is administering chemical abortifacients, it has to have a contract with a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital to treat complications when they arise.

In July the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a preliminary injunction issued in 2015 by Federal Judge Kristin Baker that prevented Arkansas from enforcing its law. The court said it was vacating the preliminary injunction and remanding the case for further proceeding because Judge Baker had failed to “make factual findings estimating the number of women burdened by the statute.”

Yesterday, Planned Parenthood asked the 8th Circuit to prevent Arkansas from enforcing restrictions on how the abortion pill is administered while the organization asks the nation’s highest court to review a ruling in favor of the new limits,” the Associated Press reported.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Plains, which oversees Planned Parenthood’s two Arkansas clinics, asked the court “to not allow its ruling in favor of the restrictions to take effect yet” so that it can continue to provide abortions at its Little Rock and Fayetteville clinics while it appeals.

Categories: Abortion Legislation