Planned Parenthood files injunction to continue abortion services
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic will stop abortion services after Oct. 1 following a court ruling allowing the state to require care clinics to meet certain regulations.
The law states abortion providers must be required to have hospital privileges if there are complications with a patient. Planned Parenthood filed a temporary restraining order on Wednesday, asking the courts to intervene on the matter because it can not meet the state's requirements. If the court upholds the restraining order, abortion services can continue at the Columbia clinic.
Anti-abortion rights protestors were outside the clinic Friday, trying to convince people to not get abortions. Kathy Forck said she wants women to be aware of their rights.
"We are hopeful that Columbia will no longer be able to do abortions mainly because the doctor will not have privileges at a hospital," she said.
Abortion rights supporter Evonnia Woods said concerns on the national level are starting to affect the Columbia area.
"What we are seeing here is what we're afraid of with Kavanaugh's confirmation with woman losing their rights. We're seeing that right here in mid-Missouri," Woods said.
According to Woods, other services Planned Parenthood provides are a big part of women's health and should be allowed for women.
"You talk about reproductive health, but there's more to that. They do cancer screenings. Pap smears are important to catch cancers," she said.
Forck said abortions are a very dangerous procedure, which is one of the reasons she wants to stop the procedure in Missouri. Forck added she just wants women to be safe and avoid any issues that will affect them later in life.
"We truly feel that law will keep woman safe by having a doctor that has privileges in a local hospital," she said. "There are also a lot of complications with the Ru-486 pill (a medication used to help bring about abortions). A lot of the woman who take the Ru-486 pill also end up at the hospital."
According to a study from University of California, San Francisco, taking this medication is not harmful and has no long term risks for women.
According to women's health practitioner Kristin Metcalf-Wilson, losing the facility in Columbia would be detrimental to the state.
She said the 72-hour wait rule within the state has a significant impact on women and could cause them to not get the proper service.
If the Columbia location is forced to stop its abortion services, the last health care clinic in Missouri to do these clinics would be in St. Louis.
According to Woods, the long commute to St. Louis would affect people looking to get abortions.+
"That's going to make it more difficult for woman to get that and it's going to mean that woman are going to be forced into carrying babies full term," Woods said.
Editor's note: We removed a quote from Kathy Forck from a previous version of this story because it was inaccurate.