Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri

US judge rules Missouri's only abortion clinic can remain open

ANI | Updated: Jun 11, 2019 15:11 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 11 (ANI): A US court here on Monday issued an order to keep Missouri's only abortion clinic open.
Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer from St. Louis court granted non-profit organisation Planned Parenthood's request for a preliminary injunction, which extended his earlier order to temporarily block the state from allowing the abortion clinic's facility to lapse, Al Jazeera reported.
The fight over the clinic's license comes when legislatures around the United States are passing new restrictions on the abortion rights of women.
Missouri's health department last month declined to renew the clinic's licence to perform abortion procedures, citing concerns about patient safety, "failed surgical abortions" and legal violations.
Stelzer's ruling on Monday ordered the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to decide on Planned Parenthood's application to renew its license by June 21.
In the order, the judge said that he was not determining whether the license should be approved or denied. But the judge noted that one issue in dispute is whether the health department can simply allow the abortion clinic's license to lapse without taking any action.
"The court does not believe that an 'official action' can include non-action," Stelzer wrote.
Leana Wen, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the ruling "a clear victory for our patients - and for people across Missouri", but said the threat against legal abortion continues.
"We've seen just how closely anti-health politicians came to ending abortion care for an entire state," Wen said in a statement.
"We are in a state of emergency for women's health in America," she added.
According to Planned Parenthood, no state has been without a functioning abortion clinic since 1974, the year after the US Supreme Court's Roe v Wade ruling that legalised abortion nationwide.
US states, including Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted bills barring abortion once there's a detectable fetal heartbeat, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.
Alabama has gone even further, outlawing nearly all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. However, none of those bans has taken effect so far. (ANI)