Federal appeals ruling stalls abortion expansion in Missouri

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A federal appeals court’s new ruling appears to at least temporarily stall the expansion of abortion services in Missouri.

The full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-sentence temporary stay Friday that blocks enforcement of a lower court ruling requiring the state to issue licenses to abortion clinics in more Missouri cities.

In April, U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs barred the state from enforcing new abortion regulations involving physician privileges and physical requirements for abortion clinics. After that ruling, Planned Parenthood groups applied for licenses to provide abortions in Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and Joplin. A St. Louis clinic already offers abortion services.

The Kansas City clinic received its license and will still begin offering abortions Monday. The fate of the other license applications is now unclear.