Columbia's Planned Parenthood Temporarily Suspends Abortion

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COLUMBIA- Wednesday protesters were outside Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic to celebrate the recent absence of Planned Parenthood's abortion performing physician. They were also there for the anti-abortion "40 Days for Life" protest.

Starting in October, Columbia's Planned Parenthood will no longer perform abortions until it finds another physician who can perform those services. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman out of Kansas City, Michelle Trupiano, said the group is "temporarily suspending abortion services." She said it's because the clinic's physician has been called up for active military duty and will be deployed overseas.

Protesters picketing outside the clinic called themselves prayer vigils. One of those prayer vigils, Mary Hoffmeyer, is excited about the new absence at Planned Parenthood. She said, "We are really glad that no more babies will be dying here in Columbia. There are a lot better choices for them out there; having an abortion isn't an easy fix."

Another prayer vigil Ed Powell said about the suspension, "We hope that they don't ever get someone to perform these abortions, but the best we can do is inform people about what is going on."

Protesters stand outside the Clinic every Thursday, the day when abortions are performed, and picket their beliefs. They said they have no plans to stop and will be there for the next 40 days of the world-wide protest.

Trupiano said "they have every right to protest, but we are going to do everything we can to make sure our patients are free from harassment and are safe." Planned Parenthood said it has volunteer escorts who will walk patients to and from their cars for those who wish to use their services.