“Access is always incredible important to us,” Dr. Williams said. “But, just understand, in the regulatory environment, our North Star is always the individual who’s getting patient care. We never let anything interfere with the basic patient care that a patient is receiving.”
Missouri’s Last Abortion Clinic Gets Their License Renewal Declined
The health department in Missouri has officially declined to renew the license of the state’s last and only abortion clinic on Friday.
This move could eventually make Missouri the first state in the U.S. without an abortion clinic in decades–But for now, the clinic will continue providing abortion services while a court injunction remains in effect.
The state’s Department of Health and Senior Services announced that it wouldn’t renew the license for the Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region before a court hearing on Friday. The clinic’s license was set to expire on May 31, but a St. Louis Circuit Court issued a preliminary injunction that kept its doors open. That injunction will stay in effect until further ruling from the court, according to a judge in a hearing on Friday morning.
“We will continue providing abortion care for as long as the court protects our ability to do so,” explained Colleen McNicholas, a reproductive health doctor at the St. Louis clinic.
Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer set a June 21 deadline for the state’s health department to decide whether to renew the clinic’s license. With the department’s decision not to renew on Friday, the judge must now decided next steps. At the hearing, Judge Stelzer said he would issue at least one more order on the case.
“I can’t imagine that injunction can stand for too long,” said Rigel Oliveri, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. “That’s a tough spot for the court to be in, ordering a medical facility to be open when it’s been ordered to be closed for patient safety reasons.”
Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Randall Williams, said Friday that the department chose not to renew the license after the clinic failed to address a number of issues raised by the state.