ST. LOUIS – Missouri won a victory Sept. 10 when a federal appeals court allowed the state to enforce abortion clinic regulations that would protect patients suffering from potentially life-threatening complications.
The state laws require that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies and that abortion facilities meet the same basic health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.
Sept. 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit overturned a 2017 ruling that blocked the state from enforcing the laws, The Hill reports. Planned Parenthood sued Missouri in 2016.
Judge Bobby Shepherd, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote for himself and his fellow Republican judges that the challenge to these “physical plant” requirements may need to be delayed until after a clinic first tries to obtain a waiver. Shepherd also said a lower court judge was wrong to not consider the benefits of the laws, according to Reuters.
“Invoking the Constitution to enjoin the laws of a state requires more than ‘slight implication and vague conjecture,’” Shepherd wrote. “At a minimum, it requires adequate information and correct application of the relevant standard.”
The abortion chain Planned Parenthood could be forced to shut down one of its two abortion facilities in the state as a result of the ruling. The Planned Parenthood in St. Louis has developed a terrible reputation, sending at least 69 women to the hospital in ambulances since 2009, according to Operation Rescue. State inspection reports between 2009 and 2016 also showed more than 200 health and safety violations that endangered women’s health.
Abortion numbers declining
The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services has just released the latest abortion statistics for 2017. In 2017, there were 6,790 abortions in Missouri. In 2016, the number of abortions was 7,275. This is a 6.65% decline. In 1980, the year the highest number of abortions were reported, there were 21,671 in Missouri.