Missouri judge blocks new anti-abortion laws

.- On Friday, a federal judge in Missouri blocked two new abortion laws which would have regulated the state’s abortion clinics and beefed up parental consent standards, just one day after they were signed by the governor.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said that the law would threaten "immediate and irreparable harm" to the Springfield Healthcare Center, which had ceased performing abortions in order to comply with the new law.

Judge Laughrey argued that the center was the only abortion provider in the Springfield area, and therefore needed to remain open.

The first of the now frozen laws would require abortion providers to have privileges at a local hospital--something that Michelle Collins, director of the Springfield Healthcare Center, doesn’t have.

The second would allow lawsuits to come against anyone who would "intentionally cause, aid or assist" an abortion for a minor without consent of a parent.

While Judge Laughrey’s decision temporarily halts the new laws, it does not strike them down. Their legality will continue to be discussed now, pending a final decision.

The governor’s office however, is hopeful that the laws will be given the green light following judicial review.

Jessica Robinson, a spokeswoman for Governor Matt Blunt, is quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as saying that: "We stand by this good pro-life law that will reduce the number of abortions in our state and look forward to debating its merits before the court."

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