June 13, 2018

Planned Parenthood Loses Federal Lawsuit Challenging DHSS Abortion Complication Regulation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo .- The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri has issued a ruling upholding the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' (DHSS) complication plan regulation in Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains v. Williams.  DHSS developed a regulation to implement Senate Bill 5, abortion legislation passed during a 2017 special legislative session.  The legislation requires physicians who prescribe or administer certain drugs to induce abortions to have in place a complication plan approved by DHSS.  Under DHSS' regulation, the complication plan must ensure that a board-certified or board-eligible obstetrician/gynecologist is on call and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to treat complications related to abortion drugs prescribed or administered by the physician.

\"My experience in state government has taught me that much can be accomplished when people work together. I appreciate both the legislature's passage of this important law and the efforts of those who worked so hard to implement and defend it,\" Governor Mike Parson stated. Senate Bill 5 was sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig (R-15).  \"I was happy to hear that the court denied the injunction,\" stated Koenig.  \"Senate Bill 5 protects and provides for the health and safety of women in Missouri.\"   

DHSS Director Randall W. Williams, MD, FACOG, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with thirty years of experience, is voluntarily an expert witness in the case as well as a defendant.  He provided expert testimony in the case regarding the standard of care for physicians who initiate elective procedures. 

Williams stated, \"DHSS is pleased with the Court's ruling upholding its complication plan regulation.  Ensuring the safety of all patients is always the Department's foremost concern.  The complication plan regulation protects the health and safety of patients by reemphasizing the importance of the physician-patient relationship, providing for continuity of care, and ensuring communication among the physician and patient.\"

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.