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The Latest: Missouri abortions continue, advocates celebrate

June 28, 2019
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FILE - In this June 4, 2019, file photo, anti-abortion advocates gather outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. Missouri’s only abortion clinic has taken a legal fight over its license to a state administrative panel. The St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate on Monday, June 24, 2019, filed a complaint against the health department with Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission. The panel handles disputes between state agencies and businesses. Abortions at the clinic could end if the commission does not act before a court order protecting the procedure expires Friday. A hearing has not yet been set. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on a dispute between the Missouri state health department and a St. Louis clinic over the clinic’s license to perform abortions (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Planned Parenthood and its supporters are celebrating an order by a Missouri commissioner to protect abortion services while a fight over the state’s only clinic plays out.

An administrative hearing commissioner on Friday granted a stay that will allow the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate to continue abortions past Friday. A court order allowing abortions to continue at the clinic was set to expire at that time.

Planned Parenthood says supporters will gather Friday in St. Louis to celebrate. A release from the organization says advocates will drop a banner that “sends a strong message” to Republican Gov. Mike Parson and the health director.

A spokesman for attorneys representing the state says they’re reviewing the order to determine their next steps.

A hearing on whether the clinic should have its abortion license renewed is set for Aug. 1.

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11:40 a.m.

A Missouri commissioner says the state’s only abortion clinic can continue providing the service at least until August as a fight over its license plays out.

Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi on Friday granted a stay that will allow the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate to continue abortions past Friday. A court order allowing abortions to continue at the clinic was set to expire at that time.

The state health department has refused to renew the clinic’s license, citing concerns including three “failed abortions” that required additional surgeries.

Planned Parenthood initially sued the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services over the licensing dispute. But a St. Louis judge ruled the case needs to start at the Administrative Hearing Commission. The commission handles disputes between state agencies and businesses.

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