Here's The Latest On Missouri's Last Abortion Clinic

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Posted: Jun 21, 2019 2:35 PM
Here's The Latest On Missouri's Last Abortion Clinic

Source: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The fate of the last Planned Parenthood facility in Missouri has been up in the air for the last several months.

However, it looks like pro-life and pro-choice advocates will have to wait just a little bit longer as a judge ruled on Friday that the facility is allowed to stay open at least until he makes his final ruling on a controversial decision by the state's health department to not renew the clinic's license. 

As reported by USA Today, "St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer said a preliminary injunction he previously issued to keep the clinic operating would remain in place until he makes a final ruling." 

"Stelzer said he would issue a written order outlining next steps, but he was not sure if the order would come on Friday," the paper reports. 

The state of Missouri allowed Planned Parenthood's practicing license to expire, opting to neither renew nor end contractual agreements and operation approval of the facility by the state. Planned Parenthood sued the state and the case has been working through the court system. 

The judge argued that Missouri cannot legally do this, and must either renew or officially end services but cannot simply let the license expire. 

Missouri's Department of Health and Human Services, however, says that Planned Parenthood's refusal to cooperate on agreed-upon standards makes the facility unsafe and therefore deserves to have its license expire. 

"DHSS received Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region's application for renewal on Thursday, May 16, 2019, which was the last day that it would be accepted by DHSS," the department said in a press release. "The St. Louis, Missouri, facility's license, which is renewed annually, is set to expire on May 31, 2019. Last year, the organization submitted its renewal application on April 27, 2018, with a May 31 renewal date." 

DHSS specifically found that the facility, had "1) violations of Missouri law; 2) violations of applicable Missouri regulations; 3) standard care for patient safety as evidenced by, but not limited to, at least one incident in which patient safety was gravely compromised; 4) failed surgical abortions in which patients remained pregnant; 5) concerns about quality control and communication with a contracted pathology lab; and 6) failure to obtain informed consent." 

At one point, the facility chose to comply with Missouri's demands, but USA Today reports that "Planned Parenthood appeared to escalate its fight with Missouri on Thursday when it stopped complying with a state requirement that physicians perform two pelvic exams on patients getting surgical abortions."

The abortion provider considers Judge Stelzer's ruling a temporary victory. "The preliminary injunction continues for now, blocking Missouri from completely shuttering abortion access in the state. This means abortion services can continue in Missouri! #BansOffMyBody #StopTheBans," Planned Parenthood tweeted. 

Townhall will update this story if any further updates occur today.