Yet another lawless federal judge has given Planned Parenthood permission to ignore state health and safety regulations in the operation of their Columbia abortion clinic. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughery
issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting state officials from revoking the abortion clinic license of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Judge Laughery ruled that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) had somehow violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution in their plans to revoke Planned Parenthood's operating license. Laughery claimed that Department officials had treated Planned Parenthood "more harshly than similarly situated situations."
The Department announced it was revoking Planned Parenthood's Columbia clinic license late last year when it was no longer in compliance with state statutes and regulations governing ambulatory surgical centers. Those provisions require that physicians performing or inducing abortions must have staff privileges at a hospital within fifteen minutes travel time from the facility.
The abortionist at the Columbia facility, Colleen McNicholas
, lost staffing privileges she had been granted by University Hospital, operated by the University of Missouri Health Care system. The University's action followed investigations by state legislative committees revealing collaboration between University officials and Planned Parenthood managers. State law prohibits state institutions, state employees, and state funds from being used in any way to assist in the performance of elective abortions.
Judge Laughery's assertion that Planned Parenthood had been treated unfairly compared to "similarly situated situations" apparently refers in part to another instance of judicial misconduct. In that case, another lawless federal judge, U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith, had ordered state health officials to exempt the Planned
Parenthood Columbia clinic from certain state health and safety standards.
In commentary contained in the opinion that reflected the political nature of her ruling, Laughery claimed that DHSS officials had engaged in "hasty actions" that were the result of "political pressure." She even made the completely unsubstantiated pronouncement that the Department was acting to revoke Planned Parenthood's license because of fears that its budget would be cut.
Laughery provided no explanation as to why it is permissible for abortion clinics to be in violation of state law for extended periods of time. Rather than this being a case of an abortion clinic being singled out for harsh treatment by state regulators, this is instead yet another episode of the abortion industry receiving special
treatment by radical liberals sitting on the federal bench.
Judge Laughery also stated in her ruling that Planned Parenthood would suffer "irreparable harm" if she did not issue the preliminary injunction. Not surprisingly, she made no reference to the "irreparable harm" suffered by children in the womb whose lives are snuffed out by profiteering abortionists.
Judge Laughery has instructed both the State of Missouri and Planned Parenthood to work toward a final resolution of the legal dispute by May 1st. Similar to the legal fiasco overseen by Judge Ortrie Smith, Judge Laughery is going to supervise a negotiated settlement between the two parties irrespective of Missouri's state statutes and regulations.
Despite Laughery's politically motivated ruling, the Planned Parenthood clinic will not be able to resume providing abortions. A separate requirement of state law regulating physicians prohibits any doctor from performing abortions unless they have clinical privileges at a hospital within 3o miles that offers obstetrical or gynecological care. Were Colleen McNicholas or another abortionist to return to their bloody practice, they would be guilty of a misdemeanor under state law without such privileges.