Planned Parenthood Protest
"We thought that it was time to gather people together to express their outrage over what had happened," said Michelle Trupiano of Planned Parenthood. "To show Columbia and the governor that there are lots of mainstream Missourians that disagree with him, and that we're not going to stand for it."
Governor Matt Blunt signed house bill 1055 one week ago, and clinics like Planned Parenthood say they are feeling the sting. Under the new law, Planned Parenthood and other health care providers that offer abortion services can no longer go into public schools. On top of that, abortion providers must comply with new medical and structural standards.
"It's helping the women of Missouri because we have made the whole process safer," said Rep. Therese Sander of Moberly. "Why should we give abortion clinics a pass on the safety regulations that apply to every other area of medical service? It doesn't make sense."
Planned Parenthood says its clinic is safe and that the new regulations force the clinic to stop offering abortion services because it doesn't have the $2 million needed for renovations.
"To put these burdensome regulations that have nothing to do with improving women's health and safety...It's all about shutting down access to abortion care here in Missouri," said Trupiano.
Legislators say they are not shutting down abortion clinics, just making the procedure safer.
"We've done nothing to outlaw abortion in the state of Missouri. What we've done is taken steps to make it safe for the women that are coming for that procedure," said Sander.
Planned Parenthood in Columbia has no formal fundraising plans to collect the $2 million for renovations. It will stop offering abortions when the law goes into effect August 28th.
Planned Parenthood in Columbia performs between 60 and 70 abortions per month. Those wanting abortion services will have to go to a clinic in St. Louis or farther.
Even though Planned Parenthood will no longer be offering abortions, the clinic will stay open. Managers say 93 percent of the services they offer are not related to abortions, but to family planning.