U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Significant Abortion Regulation Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear cases involving state laws in Texas and Mississippi that require abortion doctors to have hospital privileges at medical centers close to abortion clinics, and that the physical structure of abortion clinics meet the requirements of free standing ambulatory surgical centers.

Missouri has similar laws on the books regarding hospital privileges and clinic facility requirements, and an unfavorable ruling would also impact those Missouri statutes.

The last Supreme Court decision addressing abortion restrictions, the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allows states to pass laws that restrict access to abortion, so long as those laws do not place an “undue burden” upon a woman’s “right to choose.” Whether the court will view the Texas and Mississippi laws as undue burdens is uncertain at this time. A decision is expected in late June 2016.

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