Judge says doctor testimony in abortion case hearing unncessary

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – A St. Louis judge says testimony from non-staff doctors at Missouri’s only abortion clinic will not be necessary for a hearing that will determine if the clinic can remain open.

Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer on Tuesday agreed to throw out subpoenas for four doctors who worked briefly at the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis during their training. Stelzer’s ruling also set a hearing for Wednesday to consider Planned Parenthood’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop the state from forcing the abortion clinic to close.

Missouri’s health department declined to renew the clinic’s license to perform abortion procedures, which expired last week. The state cited concerns about patient safety and legal violations.

The judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order to allow the clinic to continue to perform abortions, at least until a decision is made on the injunction request.

Meanwhile, about 100 anti-abortion protesters have rallied outside the clinic to show support for the state’s effort to force the clinic to stop performing abortions.

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