Planned Parenthood to Sue

Earlier this week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced they are partnering with the ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights to sue the Attorney General, county prosecutors for Boone, Greene, Jackson, and Jasper counties, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The lawsuit aims to correct Missouri’s obscene anti-choice laws, and change our statute to comply with the recent SCOTUS’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision.

From the Planned Parenthood press release

“We are going to fight back state by state and law by law until every person has the right to pursue the life they want, including the right to decide to end a pregnancy. Individual rights and freedom go to the heart of who we are as a country, including the right to access safe and legal abortion,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “As a leading health care provider, we see firsthand what it means for people who are forced to cross state lines, travel hundreds of miles, or wait weeks to get an abortion, if they can at all. These restrictions have a disproportionate impact on those who already face far too many barriers to health care as people of color, people who live in rural areas, or people with low incomes. These laws are dangerous, unjust, and unconstitutional – and they will come down.”

Because of Missouri's Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, there is only one abortion provider in the state. Thirty-five years ago, there were almost 25. 

“Because of laws like the ones we are challenging today, for too many women across our country the constitutional right to have an abortion is more theoretical than real," said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. "With the cases we are filing today, we are sending a clear message that we won't stop working until every woman can get the care she needs no matter who she is, where she lives, or how much money she makes."

When 1 in 5 Missouri children are food insecure, 300,000 folks don't have access to affordable health care, and our infrastructure is crumbling, focusing on restricting access to reproductive choice is an odd priority.

“Today’s filing is a major step in the fight to ensure all women can get safe and legal abortions in their own communities, when they need them,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.  “We are a nation of laws, and the Center is prepared to use the full force of the law to ensure women’s fundamental rights are protected and respected.  We are proud to stand with our partners in challenging these unconstitutional measures and vow to continue the fight for women’s health, equality, and dignity”

Specifically, the lawsuits challenge the following restrictions on safe and legal abortion:

Medically unnecessary restrictions in Missouri that have forced nearly all health centers to cease to provide abortion in the state. Only one licensed provider remains (see complaint here).

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