Planned Parenthood to end abortion services in Columbia... for now
COLUMBIA-Planned Parenthood awaits a decision on whether or not they will continue to provide abortion services in the Columbia area.
The western district court held the hearing Monday morning, but District Judge Brian Wimes has not come out with a decision yet. The clinic must be exempted from two state regulations by Tuesday to continue providing services. Abortion services will not be available until the decision comes out.
Missouri law requires all abortion facilities to be classified as “ambulatory surgical centers”. It also states the clinics must have admitting privileges to a local hospital in case there is a medical emergency or surgical complications.
Brandon Hill, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, released a statement after the hearing Monday.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that our patients know we are a resource during this difficult time as they struggle to determine their own next step in reproductive health care. We are hopeful that the Court will rule promptly, because women will be impacted immediately—and their constitutional rights ultimately violated—without this emergency intervention,” Hill said.
Planned Parenthood has scheduled appointments for Wednesday, if the decision is not out by then services can not be performed without an emergency order.
Bonnie Lee, a sidewalk advocate for ‘40 Days of Life’, attended the hearing this morning. Lee said she will be glad if services are no longer available in Columbia. She said that during the hearing she witnessed the uncleanliness of the Planned Parenthood facility and is hopeful that women will no longer have to feel unsafe.
“Women will still be safe because they will not be allowed to practice without following the safety regulations,” Lee said.
A supporter of Planned Parenthood, Pat Holt said she would be very disappointed if services are taken away from Columbia women.
“I still support Planned Parenthood. I think it’s a shame,” Holt said.
Both sides are still awaiting the decision which may come late Monday night or later this week.