Health centers in Columbia, Joplin, and Springfield will resume efforts to expand abortion access.
ST. LOUIS – Today, Missouri Planned Parenthood affiliates applauded a ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that will allow them to move forward in obtaining licenses to provide abortion services in more communities across the state. Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) and Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region (RHS) are pleased the court denied the state of Missouri’s pending stay motion, which would have allowed the state to enforce unconstitutional abortion restrictions pending an appeals process. Today’s decision means health centers in Columbia, Springfield, and Joplin can resume efforts to expand health care through abortion access for patients in need.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, has already ruled admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) requirements are medically unnecessary and unconstitutional in Texas. These restrictions were virtually identical to those in Missouri, and contributed to the state having just one provider for nearly two years. There are currently two licensed abortion providers in Missouri – in Midtown Kansas City and St. Louis. Soon, Columbia, Springfield, and Joplin will also be providing services.
“The court today denied a stay that would have blocked access to safe, legal abortion, as required by the Supreme Court precedent in Whole Woman’s Health,” said Mary M. Kogut, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region. “By allowing us to continue expanding health care access, this lets us ensure women in our state can get the care they need closer to their own community. We will continue working with the state to obtain licenses in Springfield and Joplin so we can provide care to patients in southwest Missouri as soon as possible.”
“Today’s win is a victory for Missouri women who rely on Planned Parenthood for quality, compassionate care, including abortion. The last thing that should stand in the way of their access to sexual and reproductive health care is an extreme politician who doesn’t know the first thing about health care delivery. We look forward to serving Missourians in more locations across the state and expanding access to safe, legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO, Aaron Samulcek said.