Missouri’s only abortion clinic lost its license to perform the procedure, putting the state one step closer to having no abortion clinics.
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region will not have its license renewed, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
In a letter addressed to Reproductive Health Services interim President Cathy Williams, the state department of Health explained that their license would not be renewed due to “deficiencies” in the clinic’s standards, adding that “there has been a substantial failure to comply with the requirements” of state law.
The letter stated that “given RHS’s outright refusal to implement corrective actions with regard to such serious, extensive deficiencies as those highlighted above … the Department does not believe that any further progressive action regarding these deficiencies would be fruitful.”
Governor Mike Parson released a statement last Friday defending the decision, explaining that the Planned Parenthood clinic can have its license renewed if it “can show it is abiding by the laws and regulations here in the State of Missouri.”
“Planned Parenthood is losing its license because it failed to meet basic standards of care, placed multiple patients in life threatening situations, performed multiple failed abortions where patients remained pregnant, and intentionally impeded the state’s health investigation by not allowing health inspectors to talk to the abortion doctors,” stated Gov. Parson.
“If you don’t comply with the law, there will be consequences. If you don’t provide a standard of care that ensures the safety of women, you shouldn’t be allowed to operate. It’s that simple.”
Planned Parenthood denounced the decision, with Planned Parenthood of St. Louis abortion provider Dr. Colleen McNicholas stating that the state was “on the wrong side of history.”
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“We will continue providing abortion care for as long as the court protects our ability to do so,” stated Dr. McNicholas last Friday.
“This decision signals the true motive behind this license renewal mess that has left patients in limbo, uncertain about their health care: to ban abortion without ever overturning Roe v. Wade.”
Last month, the state health department opted to not renew the license of the abortion clinic, citing health concerns. In response, Planned Parenthood sued, requesting a preliminary injunction against the decision.
Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer of St. Louis granted their request for a preliminary injunction, allowing the Planned Parenthood clinic to continue operating while their case was processed.