JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Matt Blunt’s administration has retained attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund for legal representation after Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against a new state law that increases abortion clinic safety standards.
“Abortion clinics should not be exempt from common-sense regulations that protect the health and safety of Missouri patients,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “This law is constitutionally correct, and we consider it a privilege to legally represent Governor Blunt’s administration in this matter free of charge.”
The Missouri law, SB 370, is scheduled to become effective Aug. 28. Monday, Planned Parenthood sued Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon and other state and county officials to try to prevent abortion clinics from having to comply with safety standards applied to abortion clinics and other medical facilities.
Under SB 370, abortion clinics would be designated as ambulatory surgical centers, and as such would have to meet specific safety standards to protect the patients at those centers. Abortion clinics that would fall under the new designation are those where second- or third-trimester abortions are performed as well as clinics where more than five first-trimester abortions are performed each month.
“Allowing abortion clinics to be exempt from these standards makes an already dangerous situation even more dangerous,” said Theriot. “Making abortion clinics safer is certainly in the best interest of patients. The new law that Planned Parenthood wants struck down is one that serves the health and safety of the people of Missouri.”
ADF attorneys have defended state governments and their officials against a number of constitutional attacks on state laws in such cases as Li v. Oregon, ACLU of Tennessee v. Darnell, and Lockyer v. City & County of San Francisco. The lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood is Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri v. Drummond. The client represented by ADF attorneys is Missouri Director of Health and Senior Services Jane Drummond, the first legal target listed as defendants in Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.