Court hearing set on imperiled Missouri abortion clinic
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A hearing is scheduled in a St. Louis court Wednesday on an effort by the only abortion clinic in Missouri to retain its license.
Planned Parenthood said Tuesday that 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 abortions. The license 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.
Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson is holding a news conference on the matter in his Capitol office an hour before the court hearing.
Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit to try to ensure abortion services continue in St. Louis. Parson’s comments Wednesday will be the state’s first response to Planned Parenthood’s concerns.
Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy without exceptions for cases of rape or incest, making it among the most restrictive abortion policies in the nation.
Under the law that comes into force Aug. 28, doctors who violate the eight-week cutoff could face five to 15 years in prison. Women who terminate their pregnancies cannot be prosecuted. A legal challenge is expected, although it’s unclear when that might occur.