ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) — By the end of this week, Missouri might be the first state without an operating abortion clinic since 1973.
Planned Parenthood said the Missouri Department of Health is “refusing to renew” its yearly license to administer abortions within the state, according to CBS News. The dispute centers on whether seven physicians at Planned Parenthood, located on Forest Park Avenue in St. Louis, will agree to an interview with the state health department over alleged deficiencies involving the clinic.
KMOX's Kevin Killeen reports, five of the seven are refusing to go to the interview.
The current license expires May 31, and if renewal does not happen, Missouri will be the first state without an abortion clinic since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Some protesters outside of @PPSLR tell @KMOXKilleen they are jubilant because they see this as a victory and believe things seem to be going their way nationwide after so many years of Roe v Wade https://t.co/oAlGhkNkaN pic.twitter.com/hc18bfgMWj
— KMOX St. Louis News (@kmoxnews) May 28, 2019
Planned Parenthood is suing to keep Missouri’s last remaining abortion clinic open.
Leaders of Planned Parenthood said Tuesday that the lawsuit seeks a restraining order that would prevent the state from closing the clinic in St. Louis.
State officials have not returned several messages seeking comment.
"This is not a drill. This is not a warning. This is a real public health crisis," president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Dr. Leana Wen tweeted.
If Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis health center cannot provide abortion care, this will be the first time since 1974 that safe, legal abortion care will be inaccessible to people in an entire state. https://t.co/WVFzLjG0CW
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) May 28, 2019
Doctors and employees at the Hope Clinic for Women in Illinois were "shocked and saddened" by the news, Tuesday. A statement from the executive director of the Granite City, Ill. abortion clinic says, “The actions of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services against Planned Parenthood in St. Louis are nothing more than harassment and intimidation of the health care providers. This is not about improving the safety or health of its residents."
Dr. Erin King continued, "Hope Clinic for Women has been providing abortion care for the past 45 years, in Granite City, Illinois, and we will continue to be one option for Missouri patients, as we always have. While the state of Missouri is waging a war against its abortion services and providers, the Hope Clinic remains committed to the patients of Missouri."
Missouri is among half a dozen states that have passed sweeping anti-abortion measures. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed a bill Friday banning abortions on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
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