(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights reached a positive result in a settlement agreement with the state of Missouri regarding a 2007 law requiring first-trimester abortion providers to become licensed as ambulatory surgical centers. Today, the federal case was dismissed.
The Center initiated state and federal cases on behalf of Dr. Allen Palmer, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has provided first-trimester abortions at his medical office for more than 30 years. The cases challenged an amendment to Missouri’s “TRAP” law. The term “TRAP” stands for “targeted regulation of abortion providers,” and it refers to laws that target the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions, and impose on them burdensome requirements which are different and more stringent than the legal requirements imposed on other medical practices. These laws increase the costs of abortion and hinder physicians from providing abortion services.
Because of the 2007 amendment to Missouri’s TRAP law, first-trimester abortion providers are required to become licensed as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and to meet stringent regulations imposed on ASCs that provide abortions. Under the settlement, Dr. Palmer will not have to meet the state regulations for newly constructed ambulatory surgical centers, including the extremely costly physical renovations that he would have to make in order to comply. Dr. Palmer has been practicing in the state in the same facility for more than 30 years. The new requirements would have forced him to spend more than $1 million and that exorbitant amount would have shut his clinic down.
The Center filed a challenge against the law in 2007, intervening in an existing challenge to the statute.