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Planned Parenthood sues over new abortion law in MO

Missouri State Capitol.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Two Missouri chapters of Planned Parenthood are filing suit against the state Thursday over a law to limit abortion.

The legislation, signed today Thursday by Governor Matt Blunt, would allow parents to sue anyone who helps a child get an abortion without parental consent.

Paula Gianino is president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. She says her office and the Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri are challenging the law on First Amendment grounds.

This law that was passed the Legislature opens up a virtual Pandora's box and invites lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit of parents going after individuals who might have tried to help a teen by just giving the teen information, Gianino said.

Earlier this week Governor Blunt said he believed the law would withstand any court challenge.

"That doesn't mean I'll be surprised if there is a court challenge; lots of legislation related to this topic does go to court, Blunt said. But I believe we have a very narrowly crafted piece of legislation that will withstand any sort of constitutional muster or any sort of court challenge.

Republican lawmakers say the law is intended to prevent girls from traveling to Illinois for an abortion where parental consent is not required.

Another provision of the law says doctors can only perform abortions if they have
clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles that offers obstetric and gynecology services.

A national legal group filed suit in federal court on behalf of a Springfield clinic where abortions are performed.

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