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Friday, May 29, 2020

The Only Abortion Clinic in Missouri Will Keep on Aborting

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 3:46 PM

The St. Louis clinic will remain open. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI

Knock Planned Parenthood down nine times, it gets up ten. The reproductive health organization has won yet another major victory in Missouri courts, allowing the state’s only abortion provider to keep its doors open.

Back in 2019, the Missouri Department of Public Health and Senior Services denied St. Louis’ Planned Parenthood clinic in the Central West End (4251 Forest Park Avenue; 314-531-7526) a renewal of its operating license.



DHSS cited concerns about “failed abortions,” but Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi dismissed the accusation, writing this:

"Planned Parenthood has demonstrated that it provides safe and legal abortion care. In over 4,000 abortions provided since 2018, the department has only identified two causes to deny its license.”

The 97-page decision ends with Dandamudi granting the renewal of the facility license:

“The Department has failed to raise an affirmative defense sufficient to justify this denial. As such, we grant Planned Parenthood’s application to renew its abortion facility license.”

A press release issued this afternoon from Planned Parenthood reads as a celebration:

“Today’s decision is a hard-fought victory for Planned Parenthood patients — and for people across Missouri. This is how we fight for our patients: case by case, day by day, to ensure abortion remains safe and legal across the country.”

This outcome is obviously great news for reproductive rights activists in Missouri, but Planned Parenthood does more than just provide abortions. It also offers other services like breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, infertility assistance, pap tests and menopause treatment.

In order to make sure that everyone in the region has access to all of these services, Planned Parenthood has been expanding its services and facilities on the other side of the river. The organization recently opened a 18,000-square-foot health center just a fifteen minute drive from St. Louis in Fairview Heights, Illinois.

Email the author at jaime.lees@riverfronttimes.com
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