AG appeals to 8th Circuit to save Missouri pro-life law

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs

U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs

Characteristic of his aggressive posture, last week, one day after U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs refused to delay enforcing the preliminary injunction he issued last month in favor of Planned Parenthood, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to put on hold on Sach’s order.

At issue are two Missouri laws Sachs has blocked– one requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the other requiring abortion clinics to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers.

In three-page ruling issued Wednesday Sachs said he was bound by the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and that relief sought by Planned Parenthood “should be prompt, given the needs of women seeking abortions and the need for available clinics to serve their needs.”

Hawley told the appeals court that Judge Sachs “categorically refused even to consider the state’s evidence justifying its regulations.” According to the Associated Press, Hawley’s office

press[ed] to the 8th Circuit that Planned Parenthood, with the “sweeping” injunction, intends to offer abortions at sites “that do not satisfy the state’s health-and-safety standards, posing an imminent threat to women’s health and safety.”

“The district court refused even to consider this evidence. This was plainly erroneous,” Thursday’s appeal read. By granting the injunction, “the district court ruled that it could not and would not consider the state’s evidence.”

As NRL News Today has reported, Sachs also specified the statutes and state regulations challenged by the plaintiffs Planned Parenthood of Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of St. Louis that are “not enjoined pending further orders of the court.”

According to ABC 17 News, “That means women seeking an abortion will have to follow laws requiring them to wait 72 hours after consulting with a doctor and clinics must provide mandated materials on abortion alternatives.”

Missouri currently has one abortion clinic–Planned Parenthood in St. Louis–which performs both surgical and chemical abortions. But Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, ”(Planned Parenthood Great Plains) stands ready to receive licenses to begin providing abortion services at the Midtown KC and Columbia, Missouri health centers.”