Eighth Circuit ruling threatens abortion access in Missouri
ST. LOUIS – Today, Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) and Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (RHS), asked the United States Supreme Court to protect access to safe, legal abortion for their patients in Missouri. For many years, medically unnecessary abortion restrictions resulted in the state having only one health center for patients to obtain safe, legal abortion. This is hardest on people who already face barriers to care including young people, women of color, those who live in rural areas, and people with low incomes.
A week ago, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a preliminary injunction that would have allowed PPGP and RHS to expand abortion services to three additional Missouri health centers. Building on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a federal judge blocked admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements based on the undue burden these unconstitutional restrictions have had on thousands of Missouri women who are often forced to travel hundreds of miles or cross state lines to access an abortion.
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region President and CEO, Mary M. Kogut said:
“Countless medical experts have found these laws hurt women by putting safe, legal abortion out of reach. The Supreme Court upheld that position, and there is no reason for the court to continue to burden women in our state attempting to access a safe, legal abortion – one of the safest medical procedures performed in our country. The court is our last line of defense against politicians who continue to insert themselves between women and their doctors. We will continue to advocate to expand access to care on behalf of thousands of women in Missouri and elsewhere who count on us for expert care.”
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO Aaron Samulcek said:
“These laws were crafted by ideologically extreme politicians, not doctors. We all want to protect patient safety, and admitting privilege and ASC requirements do just the opposite. The Supreme Court has already ruled that similar laws in Texas are medically unnecessary and unconstitutional. These continued attacks against Missourians are categorically negligent when you consider the countless patients who simply cannot access safe, legal abortion in the state of Missouri. PPGP will do what it does best – fight to no end to ensure our patients can once again access safe, legal abortion when and where they need it.”