Thursday, April 20, 2017

State ASC and Hospital Admitting Privilege Requirements Fall After Whole Woman's Health

The Supreme Court's decision in Whole Woman's Health is having a impact on state targeted regulations against abortion providers.  In Whole Woman's Health, the Supreme Court struck down two parts of a Texas law that required that facilities providing abortions meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and that physicians providing abortions have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals. 

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Missouri granted a preliminary injunction against state ASC and admitting privileges requirements. Missouri currently only has one abortion provider.  Following the judge's decision, Planned Parenthood announced plans to restore abortion services at four additional other locations in the state. 

Last week, the Tennessee Attorney General announced that the state will cease enforcing admitting privilege and ASC requirements.  The statement was issued in response to a lawsuit brought by three Tennessee clinics in 2015.  A federal court stayed proceedings in the case to await the Supreme Court's decision in Whole Woman's Health.  However, the state will continue to defend a third provision passed by the Tennessee legislature which requires women to wait 48 hours after obtaining counseling before obtaining an abortion.  The state legislature is currently considering two new anti-choice bills despite the fact that the Attorney General has issued an opinion finding the bills "suspect" and "constitutionally infirm."

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