Parson says Planned Parenthood has itself to blame for license issues

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JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday the Health Department is declining to renew the license of the state's last remaining abortion clinic because of non-compliance and health concerns.

Planned Parenthood is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep its St. Louis clinic open. It is set to close Friday if its license is not renewed.

Parson said there was an annual inspection conducted by the state Health Department in March and several violations were found. Those included series of incidents which raised questions about the quality of patient care, Parson said.

Planned Parenthood said it has had three failed abortion. Two patients reported they were still pregnant after the procedure, Parson said. One patient was rushed to a hospital after the procedure for an emergency surgery.

"Regardless if you support abortion or not, Planned Parenthood should be able to meet the basic stands of healthcare under the law," Parson said.

Some people have gone on record saying they have received quality care from the St. Louis location. 

"Planned Parenthood helped my husband and I plan our family," House Minority Caucus Leader Crystal Quade said in a news release. "What Governor Parson and his administration are doing is a political move that will ultimately hurt Missourians." 

Parson said the Health Department asked to interview seven abortion doctors about the health care deficiencies, but all refused. As of Tuesday, only two doctors had been interviewed.

"The continued refusal of several physicians to cooperate in interviews regarding DHSS’s ongoing complaint investigation obstructs the State’s ability to verify that this facility is in compliance with all requirements of applicable statutes and regulations," the health department said in a news release Wednesday.

Planned Parenthood admits it has violated rules requiring a pelvic exam be performed by the same doctor who would do the abortion. Parson said the organization has failed to complete pelvic exams 72 hours prior to abortions.

"Physicians at Planned Parenthood have been asked to choose between eliminating all access to women seeking abortion or to conduct invasive pelvic exams that for some women will be harmful to their well being," Dr. Colleen McNicholas, OB-GYN, who works in Reproductive Health Services at the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region said in a news release in response to Parson. 

Parson said Planned Parenthood has until Friday to prove it is complying with the law. If that happens, he said, the organization has the right to have its license renewed.

"Planned Parenthood had ample time to address the identified deficiencies," he said.

The Planned Parenthood in St. Louis is the last clinic in Missouri that can provide abortions, and without it, Missouri would be the first state in the nation to not have an abortion clinic since the Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade in 1973.