The Latest on a dispute between the Missouri state health department and a St. Louis clinic over the clinic’s license to perform abortions:
Missouri’s health department has declined to renew a license to perform abortions for the state’s lone clinic, but the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate can continue to perform the procedure for now.
The state notified the clinic of its decision Friday morning before a court hearing. St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer says a preliminary injunction he previously issued to allow the clinic to continue perform abortions remains in place for now.
He says he will issue a written order outlining next steps.
Health department officials have cited concerns at the clinic, including that three “failed abortions” required additional surgeries, and another led to life-threatening complications.
Clinic leaders say the license fight is part of an effort by an anti-abortion administration to eliminate the procedure.
The battle over Missouri’s only abortion clinic is back in court Friday, the deadline a judge 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 St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer allowed the clinic to temporarily remain open.
Stelzer 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. That decision could be announced at the court hearing.
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.