NRL News

U.S. District Judge Ruling Supports Health and Safety Standards

by | Oct 4, 2018

By Missouri Right to Life

U.S. Western District Court Judge Brian Wimes

The Missouri Legislature has consistently passed legislation that requires common sense health and safety standards for abortion facilities and other medical facilities.

Among these standards of care is a requirement that a physician have hospital privileges within 30 miles of the abortion clinic where the abortion is being committed and that the abortion clinic be required to operate under the same medical standards as all ambulatory surgical centers.

In 2017, these laws were revised in SB 5 and a requirement for a complication report to be on file with the Department of Health and Senior Services was put in place for any clinic administering abortion pills.

These requirements ensure that if and when an emergency arises that the woman who has had an abortion will have continuity of care when her life is in serious jeopardy.

On September 28 the Department of Health performed an unannounced inspection of the Columbia Planned Parenthood and found red bodily fluid and mold in hoses and rusty equipment.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director, Dr. Randall W. Williams, who is a physician with 30 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology, wrote the following in his declaration, submitted to the court prior to an October 1 hearing by District Judge Brian Wimes, on Planned Parenthood’s latest lawsuit asking not to have to abide by the law that requires hospital privileges:

“After surgical abortions, some complications will be immediate and will require emergency transfer to a hospital from the abortion facility for emergency care. Some complications, both immediate and delayed, will be life-threatening and require hospitalization and/or surgical procedures in a time-sensitive manner. Patient safety is most at risk at the time of complications. Having a physician who can follow the patient from the abortion facility to a nearby hospital where the physician has privileges and can provide the life-saving treatment commonly associated with the usual major complications or timely treatment of other complications is part of the responsibility a physician undertakes when he or she agrees to provide that patient’s elective care. … When the physician performing the abortion has privileges at a nearby hospital, this provides continuity of care from that physician to whom the patient has entrusted her care, with whom she has an ongoing relationship, and who knows her best. The physician can accompany her to the hospital and be there for her with his or her expertise to immediately treat her complication.”

On October 2, Judge Wimes ruled against Planned Parenthood’s request to remove the hospital privileges requirement. This ruling effectively ends abortions in Columbia because the abortion clinic cannot meet common sense medical standards.

Abortion takes the life of a child and changes the woman’s life forever. The failure of those who commit abortions to be able to provide post-abortion care after such a seriously invasive procedure is a clear sign that they are out of touch with the health and safety needs of women who walk into these abortion facilities.

We thank the legislators who supported these common sense requirements, our Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams and our pro-life Attorney General Josh Hawley and his staff who are standing up to protect the health and safety of women in Missouri.

If Planned Parenthood cannot meet simple common sense health and safety standards, they should not be treating women.

There are many federally qualified health centers that provide quality health care services for women.

Today, we have much to be thankful for! Women and babies lives will be saved because of this decision!