The last abortion clinic in Missouri will have to shut down on May 31 if the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services doesn’t reverse its decision not to renew the clinic’s license. If this happens Missouri will be the first state to not have a functioning abortion clinic since Roe v. Wade came into effect in 1973.

The Missouri Department of Health insisted that Planned Parenthood, who runs the clinic, implement three changes required by the department. While the clinic was able to address two of the changes, to implement an additional pelvic exam and adjust who provided the state-mandated counseling, the clinic was unable to comply with the third request. The Department of Health demanded that all seven physicians at the clinic be interviewed by the state, but since five of them were medical residents, and therefore not employed by Planned Parenthood, the clinic couldn’t force them to be interviewed. Since this issue was out of the hands of the clinic, and therefore couldn’t be completed, the state refused to renew Planned Parenthood’s license.


Because the closing of this clinic would mean that Missouri would have no functioning abortion clinic, the state would be in violation of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion a legal right. Planned Parenthood has decided to sue the state.

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Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit is just another in a series of legal challenges to new restrictive abortion laws. Six states have recently passed incredibly restrictive abortion laws in an attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade, but each law is currently embroiled in a lawsuit by groups such as Planned Parenthood. None of the laws have gone into effect yet, as they have all been temporarily blocked by various courts while the legality of the laws is determined.

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