St. Louis circuit judge considering abortion clinic license case

5 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago Thursday, May 30 2019 May 30, 2019 Thursday, May 30, 2019 12:25:00 PM CDT May 30, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri's only abortion clinic was in a regulatory standoff with the state Friday as a judge weighed whether to grant an order allowing it to continue performing abortions as its license neared its expiration.

The annual license for Planned Parenthood's St. Louis abortion clinic was due to lapse at midnight Friday, which would make Missouri the only state without a functioning abortion clinic.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer heard arguments Thursday on Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit Missouri from allowing the clinic's abortion license to end. It wasn't clear when Stelzer would rule.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has cited concerns with "failed abortions," compromised patient safety and legal violations at the St. Louis clinic. Agency officials also want to interview additional physicians who have worked at the clinic as part of their investigation.

But Planned Parenthood has said five of the seven doctors are contractors — not staff members — and can't be compelled to speak to the state. The two staff doctors did talk with state officials.

"If we could meet with these doctors on these clinical issues, we really think we could get to a resolution very quickly," health department Director Randall Williams said Friday.

The department wants to satisfy concerns "about some patients that had bad outcomes," he said. "We need to make sure, by our statutorily required duty, that those aren't going to happen again."

Williams said there is no option for the department to grant a temporary extension of the license.

Planned Parenthood officials have said Missouri is "weaponizing" the licensing process.

"Planned Parenthood, with the exception of the interviews, has bent over backward" to work with the state, organization attorney Jamie Boyer said at the court hearing Thursday.

Tensions over abortions have been running high in Missouri.

St. Louis police said 16 people were arrested Thursday while protesting in support of abortion rights after refusing to leave a building where Republican Gov. Mike Parson has an office. Those arrested included an alderwoman and Planned Parenthood board members.

Planned Parenthood officials have said that if the St. Louis clinic's license is not renewed, Missouri would become the first state without an abortion clinic since the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

The fight over the clinic's license comes as lawmakers in conservative states across the nation are passing new restrictions that take aim at Roe. Abortion opponents, emboldened by new conservative justices on the Supreme Court, are hoping federal courts will uphold laws that prohibit abortions before a fetus is viable outside the womb, the dividing line the high court set in Roe.

Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted bills barring abortion once there's a detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. Missouri lawmakers recently approved an eight-week ban on abortion. Alabama's gone even further, outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. None of the bans has taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges.

The number of abortions performed in Missouri has declined every year for the past decade, reaching a low of 2,910 last year. Of those, an estimated 1,210 occurred at eight weeks or less of pregnancy, according to preliminary statistics from the state health department.

If the St. Louis clinic loses its license, women seeking abortions in the area could travel to a clinic across the Mississippi River in Granite City, Illinois, which is less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis. Planned Parenthood's abortion clinic in the Kansas City area is in Overland Park, Kansas, just 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the state line.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - One group is fighting to have citizens vote directly on whether or not they want more Missourians... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:27:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Fire Department said a resident alerted firefighters to two people were stuck in a car... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:59:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Dan White hasn't always been proud to recognize himself as a Vietnam veteran. "Things weren't very good... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:58:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in EmVP
BOONE COUNTY - Crews restored power to nearly 800 Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives customers Tuesday night. The power... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:19:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - City manager John Glascock named De'Carlon Seewood as Columbia's new deputy city manager Tuesday. Seewood will... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:45:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One passenger was injured when a Columbia city bus slid on a patch of ice Tuesday morning. ... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:37:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Winter started with an early preview in October , but it went full throttle at the start of... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 4:20:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in Climate
COLUMBIA - A combination of low temperatures and steady snowfall left roads slick and icy this morning around Columbia. ... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:13:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA ­– KOMU 8, Mid-Missouri’s CW and Mediacom agree to a new, multiyear agreement well before expiration of their current... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:10:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — People around Missouri were able to see a fireball in the sky around 9 on Monday night. ... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is now streamlining information sharing for emergency situations through "Smart 911." ... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 1:19:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a contract for the 2020 season,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:29:24 PM CST November 12, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Judge Tracy Gonzalez issued an order Tuesday denying bond reduction for a man suspected in the disappearance of... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:36:08 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ATLANTA (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a hospital on Monday evening for a surgery... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:30:00 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Drew Lock will get the chance to salvage his rookie season in Denver and show Broncos... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 5:07:57 AM CST November 12, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Veterans from three major wars flew to Washington D.C. early Tuesday morning for the final Central Missouri Honor... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:53:00 AM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — An out-of-control kitchen fire in Jefferson City damaged an apartment Monday evening. The Jefferson City Fire... More >>
1 day ago Monday, November 11 2019 Nov 11, 2019 Monday, November 11, 2019 10:48:00 PM CST November 11, 2019 in News
PARIS, Mo. — A veteran of three wars is one of 108 mid- Missouri veterans who are visiting their memorials... More >>
1 day ago Monday, November 11 2019 Nov 11, 2019 Monday, November 11, 2019 10:13:00 PM CST November 11, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 16°
2am 18°
3am 18°
4am 19°
5am 19°