Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits against abortion restrictions in three states and plans to sue every state that has enforced similar regulations or passed pro-life bills.
“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,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, Planned Parenthood’s chief medical officer.
The lawsuits were filed by Planned Parenthood in association with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Center for Reproductive Rights in the states of Missouri, Alaska, and North Carolina in late November.
These three states require some or all abortions be performed in hospitals or surgical centers. North Carolina also bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, unless the mother’s life is in danger.
The lawsuit alleges that the abortion restrictions have false premises of protecting women from unhygienic abortions, risks posed by abortions carried out in the absence of trained personnel, and botched abortions. The plaintiffs also claim that women have to travel to other states because of these regulations.
The plaintiff attorneys told The Virginian Pilot that the lawsuits are a follow-up to US Supreme Court’s June verdict which threw out the abortion restrictions in Texas.
Texas had imposed regulations on abortion providers so that they meet hospital standards and have admitting rights at nearby hospitals where patients could be taken in emergency complications.
The court ruled 5-3 that women face no significant risks while undergoing abortions, and that only in rare cases can a woman face botched abortions which is a condition that need not to be prepared for through state-mandated admitting rights.
“There was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. “We agree with the District Court that the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”
The restrictions in Missouri are similar to those proposed in Texas. Owing to the regulations, Missouri has only one abortion provider in St. Louis. Alaska banned partial birth abortions in 1998, and the state currently has a ban on second trimester abortions.