The Latest: Missouri clinic can keep doing abortions
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on efforts by Missouri’s only abortion clinic to renew its license (all times local):
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.
A St. Louis judge is weighing whether to grant an order allowing Missouri’s only abortion clinic to remain open, a day after abortion-rights protesters were arrested at a state office building.
Judge Michael Stelzer heard arguments Thursday on Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit Missouri from allowing the St. Louis clinic’s abortion license to lapse. It isn’t clear when Stelzer will rule. The license expires at midnight.
Missouri’s health department cites concerns about patient safety and legal violations. Planned Parenthood says Missouri is “weaponizing” the licensing process.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about a dozen protesters were arrested after refusing to leave the building where Republican Gov. Mike Parson has an office. Those arrested included an alderwoman and Planned Parenthood board members.