Missouri Could Become the First State Without an Abortion Clinic
Attorneys for the state of Missouri and Planned Parenthood met in court Thursday in a battle over whether or not Planned Parenthood’s only remaining abortion clinic in the state would be able to remain open.
The license for Planned Parenthood’s last Missouri abortion clinic expires Friday, and in a press briefing on Wednesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, said that the state won’t renew the license unless Planned Parenthood adheres to the state’s stipulations.
Missouri’s health department cited failed abortions, compromised patient safety, and legal violations, the Associated Press reported. The state also wants to interview five of the clinic’s contract physicians.
“Planned Parenthood has been actively and knowingly violating state law on numerous occasions,” Parson said.
“Gov. Parson’s remarks today are simply not based on medicine, facts, or reality,” Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, told CBS News in a statement. “He has made it clear that his goal is to ban abortion care in the state of Missouri, and today’s comments confirmed that this is exactly what this is all about.”
Missouri state Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer on Thursday “heard an hour of arguments on Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the state from allowing the clinic’s abortion license to lapse,” the AP reported.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region sued the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, saying the agency “was ‘unlawfully’ holding up renewal of the St. Louis abortion clinic’s license until the department could finish an investigation into an unidentified patient complaint,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On May 24, Parson signed legislation placing significant restrictions on abortion, including banning abortion after eight weeks into a pregnancy, joining other states — including Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, and Louisiana — that also have passed laws restricting abortion.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas, who reportedly runs Missouri’s only abortion clinic, called out “the political appointees running our departments of health,” in an interview published Wednesday by Elle.com.
“The process of ensuring safe patient health care has become a weapon of political agenda — and it must stop,” McNicholas said.
But others, such as Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy organization, said in a statement provided to The Daily Signal that the state of Missouri is right to have concerns about the safety of Planned Parenthood clinics.
“The closure of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion facility would be good news for health and safety,” Dannenfelser said. “The big abortion industry has repeatedly shown it puts profits ahead of women’s health and safety, and cannot be trusted to police itself.
Across the country, momentum is growing to rein in the status quo of abortion on demand through birth under Roe v. Wade, in direct response to extreme efforts to expand abortion in places like New York and Virginia.
Missouri lawmakers recently passed, and Gov. Parson signed into law, some of the strongest pro-life provisions in the country, and it would not be surprising to see Missouri become the nation’s first abortion-free state.
Rachel del Guidice is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel.
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