Today, the Administrative Hearing Commission (AHC) granted Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region a stay against a license denial that would have blocked abortion services at the last health center in the state to provide this care. The court and now the AHC have blocked the Department of Health and Senior Services’ (DHSS) unlawful decision denying Planned Parenthood a license to operate while the case is pending. For now, safe, legal abortion remains accessible at the St. Louis health center. Supporters, activists, and advocates will gather on the Eads Bridge at 4:30 p.m. CT today to celebrate this victory. They will drop a banner that sends a strong message to Gov. Parson and DHSS Director Randall Williams
Statement from Dr. Colleen McNicholas, ob-gyn, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region:
“We are relieved to have this last-minute reprieve, which means patients can continue accessing safe, legal abortion at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis for the time being. This has been a week-to-week fight for our patients and every Missourian who needs access to abortion care. There are two things that remain unchanged in Missouri: the uncertainty our patients face, and our will to continue fighting for their right to access safe, legal abortion.
“Patients should never have to worry that they may lose access to health care tomorrow because of a politically driven campaign to end abortion access. Yet, here we are, facing this reality week after week because of Gov. Parson’s agenda to ban abortion. It is unjust and cruel, and as the court and now the Administrative Commission Hearing recognize, unlawful. Planned Parenthood will continue responding to these political attacks on reproductive rights and health care with unrelenting vigor. Because abortion is health care and every person deserves the right and freedom to decide when and whether to be pregnant — no matter what.”