The sole remaining abortion clinic in the state of Missouri is waiting on a further decision from the circuit court after the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) declined to renew their license last Friday, citing concerns for patients and perceived regulatory violations that were not fixed after an inspection.
With the license renewal came another announcement by the DHSS on pelvic exams. The clinic will no longer be required to conduct the medically unnecessary exams as a part of the process of informed consent in which physicians are required to read prepared literature and discuss the possible dangers of the abortion procedure.
Last week, the Planned Parenthood clinic sent the DHSS a plan to correct the perceived violations. The alleged concerns were described in a statement provided by the Department earlier that week depicting thirty issues they found at the clinic. The violations surrounded “failed” abortion procedures that were not reported correctly.
The clinic will continue to be able to provide abortion care pending a further decision by the court. The denial is mostly symbolic at this time due to a preliminary injunction issued by the circuit court on June 11. The ruling stated that the Department of Health and Senior Services had to either deny or renew the clinic’s license and could not let it run out without taking any specific actions. The injunction will continue to remain in effect until another ruling from the court is issued in response to the license denial.
Surrounding states have been preparing for the possible closing of this clinic since May when Governor Mike Parson signed a bill criminalizing abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy. A nearby clinic in Granite, Illinois has been hiring more staff and readying their services for an influx of patients coming in if the Missouri clinic is fully shut down. There are currently six states with only one clinic remaining.
Media Resources: Newswire 6/11/19; New York Times 6/21/19; The Wall Street Journal 6/21/19; Feminist The Hill 6/22/19;