ST. LOUIS – A judge has issued an order allowing Missouri’s only abortion clinic to continue providing the service.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer ruled Friday, just hours before the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic’s license to perform abortions was set to expire. He issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Missouri from allowing the license to lapse.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had declined to renew the license. It cited concerns with “failed abortions,” compromised patient safety and legal violations at the clinic. Agency officials also wanted to interview additional physicians at the clinic.
Planned Parenthood officials had said that if the license lapsed, Missouri would become the first state without an abortion clinic since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
Statement of Dr. Colleen McNicholas, OB-GYN, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region:
“This is a huge sigh of relief for the many patients who need access to safe, legal abortion in Missouri. The fight goes on. While temporary, we celebrate today, and tomorrow we go back to work to ensure access to abortion does not go dark at the last health center that provides abortion in Missouri. Planned Parenthood has served Missouri for more than 87 years and we aren’t going anywhere. While Governor Parson abandoned our patients, we will not. Our doors are open today, our doors will be open tomorrow, and we will fight to make sure all patients continue to receive the care they need and deserve.”