Federal judge issues temporary hold on new abortion restrictions

Sunday, September 18, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:24 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — A federal judge on Friday blocked enforcement of a new anti-abortion law, ruling it would have forced an end to abortions in part of Missouri and created a general chilling effect on abortion counseling.

The law requires doctors performing abortions to have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. It also lets parents sue people who “intentionally cause, aid or assist” their minor daughters in getting abortions without parental consent.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughery ruled the civil liability language “threatens an immediate chilling effect on all abortion counseling within Missouri and nearby states,” in part because the language is too vague to know what actions could be targeted.

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