Missouri’s Last Abortion Facility Gets Temporary Reprieve

St. Louis Judge Michael Stelzer has granted a preliminary injunction that will temporarily keep open Reproductive Health Services (RHS) Planned Parenthood, the last abortion facility in Missouri. The injunction prevents Planned Parenthood’s facility license from expiring and allows them to continue conducting surgical abortions until further order of the court—over the objections of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

“We are disappointed that this judge decided to prevent the DHSS from enforcing the laws and regulations of Missouri that were enacted to protect women from harm,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, a national pro-life Christian activist organization.”With the help of local activists, we have documented at least 74 women who have suffered harm at RHS Planned Parenthood and were transported to local hospitals by ambulance. We believe that makes this abortion facility too dangerous to operate. It should be shut down in order to protect the public from further serious harm.”

RHS Planned Parenthood failed a facility inspection in March, which put it in non-compliance with licensing requirements. It also failed to submit an acceptable plan of correction prior to the expiration of its license on May 31.

The DHSS indicated it would not renew the facility license as long as RHS Planned Parenthood remained in non-compliance and while it failed to cooperate fully with an investigation. Multiple incidents were reported of botched abortion attempts that left women still pregnant without having been informed that their abortion procedures went awry.

At that time, RHS Planned Parenthood sought and received a temporary restraining order to prevent the expiration of its facility license.

In his ruling, Judge Stelzer claimed that RHS Planned Parenthood submitted an acceptable plan of correction for the deficiencies cited in the March inspection. However, several physicians who conducted abortions that allegedly resulted in adverse outcomes at the facility have refused to cooperate with the DHSS investigation.

“The only people who face ‘immediate and irreparable injury,’ so long as the St. Louis Planned Parenthood remains open, are unborn children and their mothers,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This particular facility’s track record shows an appalling pattern of botched abortions and other violations that prove they are incapable of policing themselves. Planned Parenthood does not deserve special treatment and the health and safety of women should never come second to the abortion industry’s bottom line.”

Although Judge Stelzer took no position on whether RHS Planned Parenthood’s license should be renewed, he ordered the DHSS to make a decision on RHS Planned Parenthood’s license renewal application no later than June 21.

Photo: Steve Pellegrino/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News