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Judge Enjoins Missouri Law Regulating Abortion Clinics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal judge has enjoined a state law that tightens regulation of abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith granted Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary injunction and will hold a hearing on a permanent injunction on Sept. 10.

Planned Parenthood said it may be forced to close clinics in Kansas City and while making changes it believes are medically unnecessary, to comply with the new law. It estimates it would cost $600,000 to bring the Columbia clinic into compliance with the new law. Smith said that forcing Planned Parenthood to close the clinics would deny women in a large area of Missouri the right to an abortion. But Smith told both sides not to read anything into the ruling: "The state has a legitimate interest in regulating facilities that perform surgery, even if the facility in question performs surgical abortions. The court also believes the state may differentiate between facilities that do not primarily perform surgery based on the types of surgery they provide."

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