Missouri’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates on Wednesday sued to overturn state laws that require abortion clinics to meet standards for surgical centers and for their doctors to have hospital privileges. The move has been expected since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar laws in Texas in June.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Jefferson City, sets up a showdown over state statutes that were enacted in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which held that the right to an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy is rooted in the Constitution.
Like the Texas laws found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Missouri requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and to physically upgrade their facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. Supporters of the laws say they’re meant to protect women’s health. Critics contend they’re aimed at shutting down abortion providers by imposing unnecessary, burdensome and costly requirements.
The suit names as defendants Peter Lyskowski, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; Chris Koster, the state’s attorney general; Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County Prosecutor; Daniel Knight, the Boone County Prosecutor; Dean Dankelson, the Jasper County Prosecutor; and Dan Patterson, the Greene County Prosecutor.