Thursday, August 23, 2007

What's the matter with Missouri?

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM) has filed a lawsuit challenging a recently enacted Missouri law that requires PPKM's two clinics that provide abortion services in Missouri to be licensed as "surgi-centers."

Interestingly enough, one of the two clinics does not even provide surgical abortions (or any other surgeries for that matter.) But the state is taking the position that the medication abortion that the clinic does provides somehow triggers the surgi-center licensing requirement.

The other clinic, in Columbia, Missouri, has been providing first trimester "surgical" abortions for many years. And, while the regulations for surgi-center licensing provides modified requirements for existing facilities -- requirements that the Columbia Center could meet -- Missouri is insisting that those "grandfathering" provisions are not available here, and that both clinics must comply with the specific and elaborate requirements applicable to new facilities.


As the PPKM CEO Peter Brownlie said “Forcing Planned Parenthood clinics in Columbia and Kansas City to close would not stop women in Missouri from getting abortions...Women would travel farther and spend more money at greater risk to their health to get abortions."

He adds that the the new law "should be declared unconstitutional because it is unreasonable, burdensome and discriminates against abortion providers."

I would agree and add that it also puts an undue burden on the women seeking an abortion who would face much greater obstacles in accessing care if the centers were forced to close due to an onerous, illogical and biased law.

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