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Judge blocks Missouri’s abortion-restricting rules

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to block abortion-restricting rules in Missouri, saying he’s bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down similar Texas guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs granted the injunction Wednesday, roughly two weeks after announcing in a memo that he would do so.

Planned Parenthood affiliates with Missouri health centers had sought the move in suing over Missouri’s restrictions last November.

Sachs wrote that his ruling would invalidate Missouri’s requirements that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that clinics meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.

The nation’s high court last June threw out similar Texas rules that sharply reduced the number of abortion clinics there.

AG Hawley Criticizes Federal Court Ruling; Promises to Appeal

Jefferson City, Mo.  – Attorney General Josh Hawley released the following statement on the federal district court’s order on Planned Parenthood v. Williams:

 “Today a federal court struck down large portions of Missouri law that protect the health and safety of women who seek to obtain an abortion,” said Hawley. “This decision was wrong. I will appeal. Missouri has an obligation to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of women undergoing medical procedures in state licensed medical facilities.”