More Abortion Clinics Opening in MO? Maybe Not

Today the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request to postpone the effect of Kansas City Federal District Court Judge Howard Sachs’ ruling, which struck down Missouri’s abortion safety standards. The ruling will maintain the status quo, pending Hawley’s appeals of Judge Sachs’ ruling from earlier this year. In May, Sachs ruled that Missouri’s abortion safety standards are unconstitutional and struck them down, citing as authority the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer striking down similar Texas standards.

Earlier this week, Planned Parenthood announced it will offer medication abortions in Kansas City, re-opening a clinic it closed several years ago. It also announced that it plans to begin performing medical and surgical abortions in Columbia and that clinics in Springfield and Joplin will open in the coming weeks. Those plans are in now question pending Hawley’s appeal of Sachs’ ruling.

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services issued a license for the Kansas City clinic upon the order of Judge Sachs. That clinic may be in compliance with the current safety standards and may remain open for the time being. The MCC does not expect the Department of Health, however, to issue any additional licenses in light of the 8th Circuit’s ruling today, unless those clinics are able to comply with current safety standards.