Federal judge defers ruling on Missouri abortion rules

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A federal judge is weighing whether to block Missouri regulations that the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics argue in a lawsuit illegally restrict access to abortion in the state.

U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs deferred a ruling Tuesday after hearing arguments over the preliminary injunction request by two Planned Parenthoods with Missouri health centers.

The November lawsuit came five months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar Texas rules. Like the Texas rules, the Missouri ones require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like outpatient surgery standards.

An attorney for the state argued Tuesday that filings in the Texas case were less complete and persuasive than those in the Missouri one, and that halting the Missouri regulations would endanger women.