Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia ends abortions
COLUMBIA - A Wisconsin federal appeals court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions. One University of Missouri law professor said the ruling should not affect Missouri statute.
"It really shouldn't mean anything out of the gate," Joshua Hawley said. "I mean, a federal court in Wisconsin - actually the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals - said that Wisconsin's admitting privilege law's unconstitutional."
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the case in Wisconsin Monday. The ruling upheld a Madison federal judge who struck down the law in March.
According to The Associated Press, earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court justices said they plan to hear a case regarding abortion law in Texas. The case looks at whether current abortion law protects women's health or makes abortions hard to obtain. It will be the high court's first abortion case in eight years, with arguments scheduled for March.
Fourteen states require abortion providers to have some affiliation with a local hospital, according to data from Nov. 1 from the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit group that supports legal access to abortion.
KOMU 8 News reached out to the University of Missouri to see how Wisconsin's decision to see how it could impact the university, but was told no one was available to talk.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas, the sole provider of medical abortions at the Columbia Planned Parenthood will no longer have "refer and follow" privileges with University of Missouri Health Care as of Dec. 1. McNicholas provided abortion services at the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic twice a month.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri confirmed that Monday was the last day McNicholas could dispense the pills that terminate pregnancies. Planned Parenthood also confirmed Nov. 19 was the last day women could sign consent forms for abortions.
Planned Parenthood planned to hold a vigil next Monday to pressure MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley to reinstate McNicholas' "refer and follow" privileges.
(Editor's Note: This story was edited to change the word "abortions" to the word "pregnancies" in the eighth paragraph.)