ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on an effort by the only abortion clinic in Missouri to retain its license (all times local):
A St. Louis judge is now deciding whether to grant an order that would allow Missouri’s only abortion clinic to keep its abortion license past Friday.
Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer heard an hour of arguments on Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the state from allowing the clinic’s abortion license to lapse. It isn’t clear when Stelzer will rule.
The Missouri health department has cited concerns about patient safety and legal violations.
Planned Parenthood says Missouri is “weaponizing” the licensing process and that it’s addressed all of Missouri’s concerns.
The state wants to interview five contract physicians before it will consider renewing the license. Planned Parenthood attorney Jamie Boyer told the judge the organization can’t force the doctors to talk to investigators.
Assistant Attorney General John Sauer says the interview request is reasonable.
A hearing is scheduled in a St. Louis court Thursday on an effort by the only abortion clinic in Missouri to retain its license after the state raised concerns about care there.
Planned Parenthood sued the state Tuesday, saying it may be forced to stop providing abortions at its St. Louis facility because the state is threatening not to renew its license to perform them.
Missouri’s health department is citing failed abortions, compromised patient safety and legal violations as it pressures the state’s only abortion clinic to come into compliance or lose its license, which expires Friday.
If it’s not renewed, the organization says Missouri would become the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.