Judge blocks Missouri abortion law

The law, which was scheduled to take effect on Tuesday, would put more abortion clinics under state supervision by categorizing them as outpatient surgery centers, requiring them to meet specific state building, staffing and health standards. The law would apply to any facility that performs more than five first-trimester abortions a month, or any second- or third-trimester abortions.
Planned Parenthood argued the organization would have to halt abortions at its Columbia and Kansas City offices – either permanently or while expensive and “medically unnecessary” renovations were made.

It is temporary ruling and will be decided at a later date. The ED of the local Planned Parenthood was pleased with the ruling. It didn’t appear to me that the judge was explicitly pro-choice or wanted to protect the right of women, but more confused about how the ruling would play out between surgical and non-surgical reproductive health clinics. But maybe I am reading to much into it. The Health Dept of Missouri is not giving up. It amazes me despite evidence that medicine-induced abortions are safe and effective, people are still fighting it.
via AP.

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9 Comments

  1. e-mey
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    As a native Missourian who lobbied against the passing of this law when it was still just a bill, I am glad to see they’re keeping up the fight.

  2. The Slant
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I have friends who work at PPKM (Planned Parenthood of Kansas/Missouri) and they were all very worried about this bill. I’m glad it has been stopped for now.
    There just isn’t enough good information or resources on reproductive health here in the midwest. PPKM is really doing a fantastic service.

  3. Joe
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    “It amazes me despite evidence that medicine-induced abortions are safe and effective, people are still fighting it.”
    Wow. The primary reason pro-life people oppose abortion is because they think the unborn are people. Any side-effects are, at the present moment, either on the periphery or being exploited/made up (former being the likes of post-abortion depression, the latter being the non-existent breast cancer link).
    I’m pro-life, but I completely disagree with the pro-life movement. It’s just that I don’t what to call people who are against abortion but are pro-contraceptives, anti-abstinence-only sex ed, pro-EC, etc. Help here?

  4. The Slant
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “I’m pro-life, but I completely disagree with the pro-life movement. It’s just that I don’t what to call people who are against abortion but are pro-contraceptives, anti-abstinence-only sex ed, pro-EC, etc. Help here?”
    I think the term you’re looking for is “anti-choice”.

  5. Joe
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m pro-choice on a lot of things – just not abortion.
    I’m about as anti-choice as pro-choicers are anti-life.

  6. Joe
    Posted August 28, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m about as anti-choice as pro-choicers are anti-life. Which is to say, not very.

  7. oenophile
    Posted August 29, 2007 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Joe,
    Try “pro-life.” Try “anti-abortion.” Try “anti-murder.”
    I suggest you take a look at Feminists for Life, Libertarians for Life, and Atheists for Life if you believe that fundamentalist Christians are the essence of the anti-abortion movement. Attend a Walk for Life at a pregnancy crisis center – you’ll meet a lot of young women, incidentally, as they care a lot about providing alternatives to crisis pregnancy situations.
    “Anti-choice” is great rhetoric, designed by people who count on our good will to not call them “pro-abortion,” “pro-baby killing” or “anti-life.” Don’t want those terms used against you? Then buck up, cupcake, and realise that turn about is fair play.
    As for the Missouri law… non-partisan academic research has found that 8.5% of medical abortions result in severe complications; 2% require surgical follow-up for haemorrhaging; 5% need follow-up care (either to complete the abortion and remove leftover fetal matter, or to do an abortion as the miscarriage failed); and the nausea, dizziness, and other side effects are more severe than with surgical abortions.
    If abortion is a medical procedure, decided between a woman and her doctor, why should abortion clinics not meet the SAME STANDARDS as ambulatory outpatient facilities? These are not separate “abortion clinic” standards; they are the same health, safety, and building codes used for every other outpatient surgical procedure in the state of Missouri.
    Wait – I remember – pro-aborts actually don’t care about women. Ask yourselves why Planned Parenthood’s facilities don’t VOLUNTARILY meet outpatient surgical facility codes. Why would they not want to provide women care in a safe environment? Why would they not want to be able to provide follow-up care, at the same facility, for the women who experience side effects from the abortions? You are the same people who think that women shouldn’t have to go to two pharmacies to get Plan B; why should women have to go to two separate facilities to get medical treatment, when one sues in federal court to not meet health and safety standards?
    After all, isn’t legal abortion all about giving women the safest possible means to terminate her pregnancy? If Christian hospitals were lobbying against the application of such regulations to maternity wards or women’s health facilities, I would bet my first year’s salary that every single Feministing member would pitch a fit about the misogyny. But, as long as those regulations prevent PP from carrying on the abortion machine, it’s bad.
    Such anti-woman, anti-health, anti-life crap.

  8. VT Idealist
    Posted August 29, 2007 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but Oenophile has caught me on a bad day. Let me preface this by first saying that I work as a clinical engineer, meaning that I inspect, repair, and test medical equipment. I also help healthcare facilities (not just hospitals, all types of facilities) in interpreting codes and regulations. I feel like I can talk intelligently about this.
    I’m most familiar with VT, NH, and NY codes. However, a lot of codes are nationa (NFPA, Joint Commission) and most state codes do not vary greatly, especially in intent.
    Currently, abortion clinics in Missouri are already classifed under out patient surgery centers and as such must adhere to all relevant codes. What the new legislation will do is change the definition of abortion clinic. To be classified as an abortion clinic under the current law requires that the clinic generates half of its revenue from abortion procedures. Planned Parenthood performs much more than just abortions and only the St. Lousis clinic is classified as an abortion clinic.
    The new legislation will change the definition of what constitutes an abortion clinic so that any clinic that performs 5 or more first trimester abortions a month (or any 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions) will be classified as an abortion clininc, and thus and out patient surgery center.
    This change has nothing to do with patient safety. Treatment of the patient, proper maintenance of medical equipment, staff training and accredidation, and dispensing of medication all follow the same regulations no matter what type of healthcare facility you are talking about (ie hospital, dentist office). The major differences between an outpatient surgery center and medical clinic are mostly structural. We’re talking about things like hallway widths and staff changing rooms.
    A specific requirement of Missouri outpatient surgery centers is that there must be a recovery area large enough to hold 4 beds with at least 3 feet of space around each bed. I’d imagine that this requirement specifically is what most of the PP clinics will not be able to meet.
    This new legislation has nothing to do with patient safety. Iti s targeted specifically at abortion providers. There is no mention of other clinics be treated as outpatient surgery centers. How about dentist offices (serious complications can arise from tooth extraction as well. It’s just unlikely, like complications during an abortion procedure.) or a doctor that removes hemmoroids in the office setting?
    The law is aimed specifically to make access to abortion more difficult. That is why many Feministing readers are against it. And lobbying to reduce regulations on a maternity ward is hardly the same thing. A maternity ward is part of a hospital by definition, and as such falls under all the regulations that hospitals are subjected to. To use the analogy given, it would be more like requiring the site of a home birth to meet all regulations of a maternity ward.

  9. oenophile
    Posted August 29, 2007 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    This new legislation has nothing to do with patient safety. Iti s targeted specifically at abortion providers. There is no mention of other clinics be treated as outpatient surgery centers.
    That’s because (drum roll) ALL OTHER OUTPATIENT SURGERY CENTERS MEET THE REQUIREMENTS. This merely removes the baby-killing exception to standard health rules.
    Planned Parenthood didn’t argue about safety; their response is: “It costs too much to meet your codes.” Frankly, it is FANTASTIC for the pro-life side that they are fighting this.
    I’m laughing really hard at likening PP clinics to at-home maternity. Frankly, if that is how they are functioning, they SHOULD be shut down. The comparison to haemerrhoid treatment is even better: the complications (which are the primary focus behind the enactment of such laws) are completely different.
    Hey, maybe I’m biased, having a friend who almost haemorrhaged to death after a medical abortion. I happen to think that PP can spare $600,000 of its annual $902 million budget for the safety of women.
    Now, just for fun, because I can and because PP pisses me off so much, let’s examine this little thing called Roe v. Wade. Justice Blackmun stated,
    “The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise.”
    Ah, the very justification for Roe, undermined by PP’s latest escapes. I love it! Murderous freaks.

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