Federal judge blocks revoking Columbia Planned Parenthood license
KANSAS CITY - A federal judge ruled Monday that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services could not void Planned Parenthood's abortion license in mid-Missouri and Kansas.
“Let this victory show, political games do not past muster," Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri President and CEO Laura McQuade said.
"We will continue to do everything we can to place a physician in our Columbia health center and provide abortions there," McQuade said.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri announced in September MU would revoke "refer and follow" privileges effective Dec. 1 for Dr. Colleen McNicholas, who it said is a licensed, board-certified OB/GYN that began performing medication abortions in August.
Planned Parenthood said MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin then caved into political pressure from state lawmakers, specifically Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, who chaired the Senate's Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life.
The committee was formed to investigate whether Planned Parenthood and MU were following state law.
"Since our Sanctity of Life Committee investigation revealed the connection between Planned Parenthood and the University of Missouri, I have repeatedly said that we must get Mizzou out of the abortion business," Sen. Schaefer said in a news release. "State law is clear that tax dollars may not be used to perform abortions."
"Today's ruling does not impact the University of Missouri's decision to end its 'refer and follow' privileges with the abortion provider, therefore, Mizzou will remain out of the abortion business," Schaefer said.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Press & Outreach Officer Boyen Lee-Gillmore said they are "still actively searching" for a doctor that could perform abortions in the area.
KOMU 8 News reached out to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, but had not heard anything back as of Monday night.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the news release from Sen. Schaefer.]
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