Missouri’s only abortion clinic on verge of shutdown this week, ending abortions in the state
The last abortion clinic serving the entire state of Missouri said Tuesday it may be shutting down this week, which would eliminate any legal abortions in the state.
Planned Parenthood said in astatementto CBS News that Missouri’s health department is “refusing to renew” its annual abortion license by May 31. If left to expire, it would be the first time a state has had no access to abortion since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
“This is not a drill. This is not a warning. This is a real public health crisis,” said Dr. Leana Wen, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In a later email to CBS News, she added that this was a “chilling warning for all of us that we are in a public health crisis.”
“Today it’s Missouri, tomorrow it could be all of America,” she said.
Planned Parenthood said the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services outlined three potential issues that would prevent its license from being renewed, including an investigation into “deficient practices” that involved interviewing seven physicians who worked at the clinic.
Planned Parenthood said it would be able to provide interviews with two of those physicians, but the other five were not employed by the organization and have not agreed to interviews.
The organization saying it will sue the state “in order to try to keep serving Missouri women.”
In its letter, the Department of Health wrote that it could not “complete our investigation until it interviews the physicians involved in the care provided in the potential deficient practices,” and that “the investigation needs to be completed and any deficiencies resolved before the expiration of [the clinic’s] license on May 31, 2019.”
The clinic could still provide other health services such as cancer screenings, contraceptives and birth control.
This news comes as six states, including Missouri, have passed legislation this month limiting abortions.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill Friday preventingan abortion past eight weeks into a pregnancy, including for cases of rape and incest.
The law has yet to be enacted and likely faces a court challenge.