Gynecologist: New abortion rules not medically necessary

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A gynecologist says new regulations that the state is proposing for abortion clinics are not medically necessary and would not ensure the safety of women.

Dr. Paul Blumenthal from Stanford University testified for Planned Parenthood on Monday in a federal hearing on the group's lawsuit opposing the standards.

The new law would put more abortion clinics under state supervision by categorizing them as outpatient surgery centers.

The standards would regulate things such as the width of hallways and the height of ceilings.

Blumenthal said they were not unreasonable but "they should have some clinical value."

The hearing is to determine whether federal Judge Ortrie Smith will issue a preliminary injunction stopping the implementation of the new law.

Supporters of the law say it is necessary to ensure the health and safety of women seeking abortions, and would not place any undue burden on women or the clinics.

The state was to begin presenting witnesses Monday afternoon.

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