Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic set to receive abortion license in matter of days

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COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood Great Plains will get its license to provide abortion services again in Columbia within the next couple of days. 

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Communications Director Bonyen Lee-Gilmore said the state told her the Columbia clinic should get its license back to perform surgical and medication abortions by Wednesday. Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced Monday that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services gave its Kansas City clinic its abortion license.

Previously, the only abortion services provider in Missouri was the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. Columbia's clinic completely lost its ability to provide abortion services in December 2015, after MU decided to end Dr. Colleen McNicholas' "refer and follow" privileges. McNicholas was the one doctor allowed to provide these privileges in Columbia.

Howard Sachs, a federal judge in Missouri's western district, issued a preliminary injunction in April blocking abortion-restricting rules in Missouri following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down similar guidelines in Texas. Sachs ruled that the Department of Health and Seniors Services had to issue new abortion clinic licenses or be held in contempt of court.

"PPGP is proud to have the final say – that access to safe, legal abortion is more accessible today than it was yesterday, and we look forward to restoring abortion access in mid-Missouri in the coming days," interim president Aaron Samulcek said.

Missouri Right to Life released a statement against the clinics receiving their abortion licenses.

"Planned Parenthood will soon begin killing more babies in their Kansas City abortion facility and vows to open another baby-killer clinic in Columbia," Missouri Right to Life president Steve Rupp said.