Missouri denies Planned Parenthood abortion clinic license renewal but clinic remains open
St. Louis, Mo. — Missouri health officials have denied the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic’s application for a new license Friday.
The decision on whether the state would renew or revoke clinic’s license has been in question for weeks. Rulings by St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer allowed the clinic to temporarily remain open and gave the health department until Friday to decide.
Stelzer also told the state it can’t simply let the license lapse but must either renew it or deny it. “The Court does not believe that an ‘official action’ can include non-action,” Stelzer wrote in a June 10 ruling granting a preliminary injunction.
Officials said the ordered issued on June 10 remains in effect allowing the clinic to continue to see patients.
News 4 confirmed through court documents that a judge denied the state’s request to extend the deadline.
Earlier this week, the clinic said it was ready to defy state law which state that two pelvic exams must be performed before an abortion procedure.
Missouri has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, requiring a consent process, 72-hour waiting period and two pelvic exams before a woman undergoes a procedure.
The clinic has been one of the focal points in the abortion debate. The state claims it violated laws and regulations. A recent inspection found the clinic broke the law performing an abortion at 21 weeks. Missouri law bans the procedure at 20 weeks.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood released the following statement:
“The state of Missouri has just weaponized public health to push their dangerous agenda and could now be the first state in America without a health center that provides abortion care. As physicians, we take an oath to provide patients with respectful and compassionate care. Instead, Governor Parson’s invasive and unnecessary mandates have traumatized patients with immoral and unethical medicine. That is his legacy and he should be ashamed.
This isn’t over. We must continue to sound the alarm because we are in a state of emergency for women’s health in America. And we at Planned Parenthood will continue to fight in the courts and beyond to protect access to abortion care for all Missourians.”