Why did the state deny the license? State health officials issued a new rule that women required an extra, “invasive” pelvic exam to get an abortion and Planned Parenthood doctors said that was unnecessary and distressing, and refused to comply.
Read the whole story here at the Daily Mail: Missouri’s health department has denied to renew a license to perform abortions for the state’s last remaining clinic.
The ruling on Friday morning puts the state on track to become the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since 1974, when Roe v Wade was passed.
For now, the Planned Parenthood affiliate clinic in St Louis can stay open and continue procedures given a preliminary injunction previously issued by St Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer.
A further court ruling could force the clinic to close. Judge Stelzer says he will issue a written order outlining next steps.
The battle over Missouri’s only abortion clinic returned to court on Friday, the deadline Judge Stelzer imposed for the state to decide whether to renew the clinic’s license.
Missouri’s health department allowed the St Louis Planned Parenthood clinic’s abortion license to lapse effective June 1.
Rulings by Judge Stelzer allowed the clinic to temporarily remain open. He also told the state it can’t simply let the license lapse but must either renew it or deny it. He gave the health department until Friday to decide.
According to Planned Parenthood, no state has been without a functioning abortion clinic since 1974, the year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Health department officials in Missouri have cited concerns at the clinic, including that three ‘failed abortions’ required additional surgeries, and another led to life-threatening complications.
As the license expiration neared, state health officials brought in some conditions that Planned Parenthood would need to comply with to stay active.
On May 24, the state signed a ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill into law, banning abortions once a heartbeat is detectable (roughly around six weeks).
A rule was also imposed that clinicians would need to perform an extra, invasive pelvic exam three days before an abortion, on top of the standard pelvic exam and screening.
Doctors hit back, saying the added step was unnecessary and distressing for women, and the Planned Parenthood-affiliate clinic refused to comply.