Judge Rules Missouri Abortion Waiting Period Is Constitutional


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Grace Carr Reporter
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A Missouri judge ruled Monday the state’s 72-hour waiting period is constitutional, rejecting Planned Parenthood’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order on Missouri’s abortion laws.

Circuit Judge S. Margene Burnett said the waiting period doesn’t constitute an “undue burden” for women in the state seeking abortions, according to KCUR. Missouri’s abortion law, SB5, says women must waiting 72 hours before receiving an abortion, must receive counseling before she chooses to do so, and that the counseling must be administered by the doctor who will perform the abortion.

The requirements are “at best a moderate modification of the informed consent restraints already in place” said Burnett, explaining that it is not a monumental change to require doctors to provide counseling rather than any qualified professionals.

Burnett’s ruling comes after Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with the Satanic Temple filed separate lawsuits against the state of Missouri alleging its abortion laws are unconstitutional because the mandatory waiting period and counseling requirements unfairly restricts a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare, according to the Associated Press. (Related: Planned Parenthood And Satanists Fight To Repeal Missouri Abortion Laws)

“The harsh reality of today’s court ruling is that this law will force some women to wait weeks for an abortion, travel hundreds of miles, or lose access altogether,” said interim president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Aaron Samulcek in a statement Monday.

“Abortion is a life-changing and life-ending decision, and one that the Supreme Court has recognized many women come to regret later in life. This reflection time gives women more time to talk to their families and partners about parenting and adoption, and to gain the support and resources they need to pursue those alternatives,” said Americans United For Life, applauding the decision in a statement Tuesday.

The judge’s ruling follows Planned Parenthood’s fight to gain licensing for four more clinics to provide abortions, according to The Kansas City Star.

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