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Missouri's last Planned Parenthood stays open on judge's ruling

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Missouri's last Planned Parenthood stays open on judge's ruling
Missouri's last Planned Parenthood and the only clinic that performs abortions in the state will stay open, for now, a judge ruled. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 22 (UPI) -- Missouri's Planned Parenthood will remain open but it has lost its license to perform abortions. Doctors will continue performing the procedure until the facility shuts down.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services declined to renew a St. Louis Planned Parenthood's license to perform abortions after officials said some were not performed properly and failed.

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The clinic's license expired on May 31.

On Friday, Judge Michael Stelzer ruled that the preliminary injunction that allows the clinic to stay open would remain until he makes a final decision on what will happen to the clinic. He called the case one of the most difficult of his career.

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Dr. Colleen McNicholas said she will continue providing abortion services as long as she can. She blasted Republican leaders for trying to ban abortions while Roe vs. Wade remains the law of the land.

"While Gov. [Mike] Parsons and his political cronies are on the wrong side of history, nothing changes right now for patients who need access to abortions at Planned Parenthood," McNicholas said. "We will continue providing abortion care for as long as the court protects our ability to do so."

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DHSS Director Randall Williams said the health department found 30 deficiencies during the state's last inspection. In some cases, health investigators were not allowed to talk with the doctors about failed abortions.

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"That would be like the FAA having a plane crash, in which people got injured and investigating it, and when people say, 'Well, what? Did you talk to the pilots? And say, "No, we didn't talk to the pilots," Williams said.

Missouri's Planned Parenthood Advocates director M'Evie Mead called on Gov. Parson to remove Williams. But Parson said Planned Parenthood lost its license because it put women in danger and didn't follow state regulations.

"Once again, we came within hours of having more than a million women in Missouri not have any place to go for reproductive health care -- which is health care," Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Dr. Leana Wen told CBS News. "This is a state of emergency that we have all across the country. We have a temporary reprieve, but this is only temporary."

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