SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Two Missouri women have launched a medical malpractice suit against a local abortionist who they claim failed to advise them of the risks of abortion.

The two women, who obtained abortions in 1994, said a consent form they signed prior to the procedure was false and misleading. They are seeking damages for assault and battery and for the wrongful death of their unborn children.

Although the state of Missouri has no informed consent law, medical ethics generally dictate that patients must be fully informed of the risks involved in any medical procedure. Some Missouri legislators have pressed the state to require abortion-seeking women to meet with state-approved counselors prior to undergoing the procedure.

The malpractice suit could have far-reaching implications in the abortion battle in the U.S. This is one of the first times the courts, rather than state or federal legislatures, could become involved in regulating abortion clinics in the U.S. Much will depend on a decision of Missouri circuit court judge who will rule if the case is valid.

The Missouri case comes as women throughout North America press for greater awareness of the short- and long- term health risks of abortion. Some view the situation in Missouri as potential precedent-setting case.