Circuit Judge Blocks Missouri from Suspending License of State’s Only Abortion Clinic
A circuit court judge in St. Louis on Friday stepped in to block Missouri officials from taking away the license of the state’s only abortion clinic.
The decision by St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer to issue a temporary restraining order came just hours before the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility’s license was set to expire.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services had said it would not renew the clinic’s license, citing concerns over alleged compromised patient safety and legal violations at the clinic.
Planned Parenthood pre-emptively sued the state earlier this week, arguing anti-abortion officials had effectively weaponized the licensing process.
Had Stelzer not intervened Friday afternoon, as of midnight, Missouri would have become the first state without an abortion clinic since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.
In handing down his order, Stelzer said Planned Parenthood “has demonstrated that immediate and irreparable injury will result” if its abortion license is allowed to expire.
He went on to say that the clinic’s license will “remain in effect” until he rules on Planned Parenthood’s request for a permanent injunction.
A hearing on that request is scheduled to be held Tuesday morning.
In a written statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Dr. Leana Wen said, “Today is a victory for women across Missouri, but this fight is far from over.
“We have seen just how vulnerable access to abortion care is here — and in the rest of the country,” she said.
The number of abortions performed in Missouri has declined every year for the past decade, reaching a low of 2,910 last year, according to the state health department.
In The News
In The News
WASHINGTON - The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, has injected new uncertainty into the presidential election and set the stage for a bruising political battle in the nation's capital. Even as hundreds of people gathered Friday night... Read More
WASHINGTON - The hallmark of a true battleground state is that any one of a variety of factors can come into play and make a sure bet in the weeks leading up to the vote an “also ran” on election night. In that respect Michigan in... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington. She was 87. Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said. Ginsberg’s death... Read More
WASHINGTON — The months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic already spelled trouble for the Rome Water System and the tiny community it serves in the Mississippi Delta. A tornado tossed around several homes, closed roads and left the community without power for two weeks. Lightning... Read More
WASHINGTON — More than ever, Eric Harris is mindful of the elected officials around him: The school board members deciding whether his children will go back to the classroom, the sheriff influencing how officers interact with people like him, and the U.S. president steering the country’s... Read More
WASHINGTON — Dave and Diane Schell, a retired social studies teacher and a retired human resources professional from South Windsor, Connecticut, left their careers in 2015, and have worked the polls at their local precinct every election since. But not this November. The Schells — he’s... Read More