New rules on Missouri abortion regulations kick in


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Planned Parenthood leaders condemned new regulations on Missouri abortion providers that took effect Wednesday.

Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told reporters that the organization is still unclear on what the rules will do.

But she said “nothing in this emergency rule changed anything about the way we care for our patients or the way the state already inspects us.”

She also said the emergency rule “discriminates” against Planned Parenthood by treating it differently than other Missouri Medicaid providers. Rodriguez said the organization is considering legal options.

The new emergency regulations require abortion providers to cooperate with state health department investigators and ensure physicians perform pelvic exams 72 hours before abortions, if medically necessary.

The regulations also require the health department to refer rule violations to the state’s Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit, which reviews whether medical providers meet requirements to receive Medicaid funding.

Missouri Republicans have tried for years to block all Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, which is already prohibited from using Medicaid funds for abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger or in the cases of rape and incest.

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