By Grace Carr
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled Monday that Missouri can enforce its laws requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital or ambulatory surgical center local to the abortion facility.
The ruling overturned a lower court’s 2017 ruling that barred the state from enforcing these laws, Reuters reported Monday.
“The district court should, at the very least, weigh the state’s asserted benefits against the burdens associated with the requirement,” U.S. Circuit Judge Bobby Shepherd wrote in his ruling. Shepard also wrote the previous court had “erred” in its ruling and that a “cost-benefit analysis [is] required by the undue burden standard.”
“The decision by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates democracy and the balance of powers at work. The courts were right to respect efforts to protect women from abortion vendors who have made no plan for emergencies,” Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said in a statement.
The ruling comes after Planned Parenthood sued the state in October 2017, asking the court to block Missouri’s law requiring abortion clinics to have contracts with physicians who can admit patients to the hospital. Planned Parenthood claimed the law is unnecessary and puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions. A federal judge denied Planned Parenthood’s request in June, ruling that the abortion organization had not shown the law imposed “a substantial burden” for women seeking medical abortions.
“Legislators have every right to protect women and their preborn infants from disreputable abortionists. Surely the one area of agreement on the abortion issue — whether pro-life or pro-abortion — should be health and safety regulations that protect women,” Hawkins also said.
“Look no farther than Missouri to see what kind of harm courts can inflict on women’s rights and freedoms,” Planned Parenthood vice president Dawn Laguens said in a statement condemning the decision, Reuters reported.
A Missouri judge also ruled in October that the state’s 72-hour waiting period is constitutional.
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