Missouri Set to Become Only State Without Legal Abortion Access by GABRIELLA BORTER/REUTERS via Charisma News
Missouri is poised this week to become the only U.S. state without access to legal abortions as health officials refuse to renew its last clinic’s license to perform the procedure, women’s health services provider Planned Parenthood said on Tuesday.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services did not respond to a request for comment.
The regulatory move is the latest in a wave of actions in Republican-led states to stop abortion. Anti-abortion activists say they aim to prompt the newly installed conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by enacting laws virtually assured of facing court challenges.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill banning abortion beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy, making Missouri one of eight states that have passed anti-abortion legislation this year.
The clinic’s license to provide abortions expires on Friday, after which it may no longer offer abortions. It would continue providing other health care services, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said.
The state department of health told the clinic it could not approve a license until it interviewed seven physicians who the state believed might be involved in “potential deficient practices,” CBS News reported, citing written communication between the clinic and the health department.
Planned Parenthood said it could not comply with this request because it employs only two of the physicians, and the other five have not agreed to be interviewed, according to CBS.
Planned Parenthood said in a statement that the clinic would sue the state health department on Tuesday to preserve access to legal abortions in the state.
CHALLENGE TO EIGHT-WEEK BAN
Separately, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said on Tuesday that it would seek to repeal Missouri’s law banning abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy through a referendum on the state’s 2020 election ballot.