Missouri’s last abortion clinic to shut down by an engineered technicality

Missouri’s anti-abortion laws are yet to come into effect, but the state is already moving to shut down its last abortion clinic. According to the employees of the said clinic, all is not above board. 




The awfulness is spreading. Far from lawmakers of Alabama, CBS is reporting that the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri expects to be shut down this week, ostensibly ending legal abortion in that state.

Via a statement, the clinic (Planned Parenthood) said that Missouri’s health administrators are “refusing to renew” its annual license to continue their work. If the license is not renewed by Friday stateside, Missouri would become the first state without a functioning abortion clinic since 1973.

“This is not a drill. This is not a warning. This is a real public health crisis,” said Dr Leana Wen in conversation with CBS, who is the president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services told CBS that the licence was “under review,” and apparently did not respond to further questions.

While it is less direct than Alabama’s move, the subtext is very much the same. The method preferred by administrators is hiding behind the paperwork.

Per CBS News, “Representatives for Planned Parenthood told CBS News that the upcoming deadline follows weeks of back-and-forth with state health officials. On May 20, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services notified Planned Parenthood of three issues that could impact license renewal, according to documents reviewed by CBS News and provided by Planned Parenthood. On May 22, Planned Parenthood said it would address two of them: adjusting who at the clinic provided the state-mandated counseling (sic) and adding an additional pelvic exam for abortion patients.

But it said a third request was out of its control. According to Planned Parenthood, the health department said it was investigating “deficient practices,” and needed to interview seven physicians who provide care at the clinic. Planned Parenthood said it could offer interviews only with two who are its employees. The other five physicians working at the facility are residents in training and not employed by Planned Parenthood, a spokesperson for the clinic said via email on Tuesday. The state has indicated that the result of those interviews could be “board review” in addition to “criminal proceedings,” the spokesperson said. The medical residents declined to be interviewed for the state’s investigation.”

The Department of Health also wrote to Planned Parenthood 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 license on May 31, 2019.”

According to Dr Colleen McNicholas, a Planned Parenthood physician, there are a serious amount of porkies present, as she said that the agency hasn’t shared any details of the investigation or what the exact concerns they have. “We are 100 per cent committed to the best care that we can provide for patients. So certainly if there is an issue with the care we’re providing we want to know about it,” she said. “We want to be able to address that. But we can’t do that when we’re being attacked.”

Over in America in this year alone, six states — including Missouri — have passed anti-abortion laws. In each case, these laws have not yet been enacted and face court challenges.

In 2008, Missouri had five abortion clinics, in 2019, it seems their last is being shuttered on an engineered technicality.

As Dr Wen articulated in an email to CBS News, “…this a chilling warning for all of us…today it’s Missouri, tomorrow it could be all of America.”


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