/Missouris last abortion clinic wins reprieve

Missouris last abortion clinic wins reprieve

Missouri's last abortion clinicImage copyright
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A judge has temporarily blocked Missouri from becoming the first US state not to have an abortion clinic in nearly half a century.

Planned Parenthood won a court order to keep the state’s only abortion clinic open, on the day it was due to close.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has refused to renew its operating licence, alleging “deficient practices”.

A number of other US states have recently passed anti-abortion laws.

Earlier this week, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released a statement citing “ongoing concerns” about the clinic in the wake of its annual inspection.

These concerns included violations of Missouri law and “failed surgical abortions in which patients remained pregnant”, according to state officials.

Planned Parenthood dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

“This is not a drill,” said Dr Leana Wen, president of the reproductive health organisation. “This is not a warning. This is a real public health crisis.”

Without the clinic, “more than a million women of reproductive age in Missouri will no longer have access to a health centre in the state they live in that provides abortion care.”

If Planned Parenthood ultimately loses the case, Missouri could become the first state not to have a legal abortion clinic since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled that US women have the right to choose an abortion.

The legal battle comes days after Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, signed a bill that would outlaw nearly all abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

The law makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

On Thursday, Louisiana enacted legislation banning pregnancy terminations after a foetal heartbeat is detected. Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi have passed similar bills.

Meanwhile, Alabama has passed an outright ban on abortion in nearly all cases. None of these laws are yet to take effect, however.

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Image caption

Pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators protest outside the last remaining clinic

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