Missouri Down to One Abortion Clinic After Planned Parenthood Stops Abortions in Columbia

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 25, 2015   |   1:16PM   |   Columbia, MO

A Missouri Planned Parenthood stopped doing abortions Monday, leaving just one abortion clinic left in the whole state.

The move came after Dr. Colleen McNicholas, who did abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, lost her “refer and follow” hospital admitting privileges at the University of Missouri Health Care, according to the Columbia Tribune. According to state law, the abortion clinic will lose its license to do abortions without the admitting privileges.

The university voted to stop offering admitting privileges to McNicholas in September, in response to a state investigation prompted by undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress, which showed Planned Parenthood abortionists harvesting and selling aborted babies’ body parts. The investigation revealed a relationship between Planned Parenthood and the university.

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Pro-lifers with 40 Days for Life celebrated Monday with an event outside the Planned Parenthood clinic, according to the newspaper. The group released balloons for each baby who was aborted there since July, the report states.

“We give all the honor and glory and victory to God,” said Kathy Forck of 40 Days for Life. “This is God’s victory.”

Abortion advocates are planning their own protest next Monday at the university, according to the local newspaper. The group wants to pressure interim Chancellor Hank Foley into reversing the September vote and extend the abortion doctor’s admitting privileges, Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told the local newspaper.

McQuade said they will push Foley for an extension through February, which would give McNicholas time to re-apply for hospital admitting privileges or give Planned Parenthood time to hire another abortion doctor.

“Chancellor Foley has the authority to reverse this decision or at the very least to extend the date,” McQuade said. “The university has stated in a letter directly to Dr. McNicholas that the privileging process would take significantly longer than the time allotted to us.”

The situation could be temporary anyway. LifeNews recently reported that the University of Missouri, in the midst of upheaval over student protests about unrelated racial issues, is working with McNicholas to re-apply for hospital admitting privileges so that she can do abortions again. Missouri state law requires abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges.

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Teresa Snow, a spokeswoman for the university, predicted earlier this month that the abortion clinic would lose its license to perform medical abortions while McNicholas re-applies for hospital admitting privileges, a process that takes months. The university health care program is compiling documents for the abortion doctor’s application process, according to the Associated Press.

Missouri’s last abortion clinic is in St. Louis, according to the AP.