Hearing begins on fate of Missouri’s lone abortion clinic

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ST. LOUIS - The fate of Missouri's only abortion clinic is at stake starting Monday when a member of the state's Administrative Hearing Commission will begin hearing arguments over whether the clinic can keep its abortion license.

The hearing at a downtown St. Louis state office building is expected to last five days and a ruling isn't expected until February at the earliest. Missouri officials have asked St. Louis police for heightened security since the licensing issue has generated protests from those on both sides of the debate.

Planned Parenthood has been battling Missouri's health department for months to try and keep open its St. Louis clinic. The state has refused to renew its license to perform abortions, citing concerns that include failed abortions.

Planned Parenthood officials say the state is ``weaponizing'' the licensing process.

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