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A federal court recently blocked two medically unnecessary provisions of Missouri law that restrict abortion providers. The court ruled that the laws — a requirement that health centers meet ambulatory surgical center (ASC) facility standards and a requirement that physicians have hospital admitting privileges — do not improve health outcomes and are unconstitutional.

Though these two medically unnecessary provisions are blocked, many regulations remain in effect. In fact, Missouri has more than 30 abortion regulations in place governing both physicians and health centers.

Abortion is safe

  • Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States, including Missouri. Data, including from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), show that abortion has a greater than 99 percent safety record. It is safer than a getting your tonsils or your wisdom teeth removed.

  • Planned Parenthood is constantly evaluating new research, technology and recommendations from medical associations to make it even safer.

Abortion providers remain heavily regulated in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has already inspected Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region once since the court decision. Here is what happened:

  • Five state inspectors spent three full business days at our health center,

  • We were found to be compliant following our inspection, and

  • DHSS renewed our license.

The state still applies rigorous standards at our facility, and we still meet those standards, every year. There is one main difference between inspections at our health center and inspections everywhere else: No other health care provider is required to be in 100% compliance to get their license renewed — just us. And we still meet that standard, every year.


Here are a few of the things inspectors looked at:

Infectious disease reporting

Data on complications

Personnel files for staff members

Infection controls

Sanitation and hygiene

Physician credentialing files

Hospital transfer reports and policies

Reporting mechanisms on abortion data

Minutes for quality assurance meetings

Discharge policy

Policies for laboratory and pathology services

Employee training records

Data on number of abortions provided

Patient records

Emergency plans, including fire drills

And much, much more. See additional requirements imposed through administrative rules in the Code of State Regulations. (19 CSR 30-30.050, 19 CSR 30-30.060) 

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