Constitutional Law

Judge Blocks Abortion Law

A federal judge has barred enforcement of a Missouri law requiring abortion clinics to upgrade their surgery facilities.

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith issued a temporary restraining order and scheduled a hearing for Sept. 10 to hear arguments on a permanent injunction, the Kansas City Star reports.

The law, which had been scheduled to take effect today, requires abortion clinics to meet the standard for ambulatory surgical centers. Planned Parenthood told Smith the costs of renovating its clinic in Columbia, Mo., to comply with the law would be about $600,000, the Associated Press reports.

Smith questioned whether the regulations should apply to a Kansas City abortion clinic, since it performs only medically induced abortions rather than surgical procedures.

“Of all the establishments that dispense medication (e.g., doctors’ offices, pharmacies), why is it only those that dispense medication for the purpose of inducing an abortion that must be prepared to perform surgery?” Smith wrote.

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