Planned Parenthood fights planned safety

Inside the Issues with Alan Sears

Alan Sears, Esquire

ADF President, CEO, & General Counsel

May 20, 2008

Planned Parenthood – the world's largest abortion provider – says it wants abortion to be safe and legal. But a stream of news stories and scandals casts serious doubt on these aspirations, as does a recent case in Missouri.

Missouri law requires a minimum standard of health and safety for medical clinics, including surgical abortion clinics and those that dispense the abortion-inducing drug RU-486.

Planned Parenthood apparently believes those minimal requirements are too much to ask.

The group balked at the law and filed a federal lawsuit, asking that the law be declared unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood officials said meeting the enhanced health and safety codes would require some of their clinics to close while being retrofitted to standard. As I pointed out in my op-ed last year, can you imagine a restaurant chain refusing to take time out from serving food to correct flagrant health code violations? Or a manufacturer refusing to retrofit its plants to install mandated safety equipment in its automobiles … just because doing so is too expensive?

Planned Parenthood also filed a lawsuit in state court to have clinics that dispense RU-486 be exempted from these health codes. Thankfully, a Missouri judge sided with ADF and ruled Friday, May 9, that these clinics are not exempt from the law.

"The health and welfare of Missourians is worth more than Planned Parenthood's bottom line," said ADF Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt, who argued before the court. "The court was right to determine that the law was not designed to give clinics that dispense RU-486 a pass when it comes to safety regulations that all medical facilities must follow."

The order granting the motion for summary judgment filed by ADF attorneys is available here

At ADF, we believe that all life is sacred, from conception to death, and we oppose any effort that terminates a human life. This victory, while important, does not eliminate the deeper problem, and we must continue to stand in the courts on behalf of the millions of children who have been silenced. Together, on our knees, we can win.