A Missouri Planned Parenthood must close this week after a federal judge refused to allow it to stay open while in violation of state abortion clinic regulations.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes rejected the abortion chain’s request for a temporary injunction against a state law requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies, the AP reports.
Because the Planned Parenthood in Columbia is not in compliance with the law, it will have to stop aborting unborn babies this week. Its license expired Tuesday. The only other abortion facility in the state is a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis – a facility pro-lifers call “the most dangerous abortion facility in the U.S.”
The state law requires that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies and that abortion facilities meet the same basic health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.
Planned Parenthood’s latest request to block the law came after it recently lost an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The legal battle continues.
Here’s more from the Columbia Tribune:
The [inspectors from the health] department visited the clinic Aug. 14 and again on Sept. 26.
“When I and the Department’s inspectors entered the Columbia facility for the follow-up inspection on September 26, 2018, I fully expected that all deficiencies identified in the August 14, 2018, Statement of Deficiencies would have been corrected, particularly given that the license expires October 2, 2018,” William Koebel, administrator for the department’s Section for Health Standards and Licensure, wrote to the court. “Instead, I and the inspectors found that some of those items still had not been corrected.”
The inspection last Wednesday found rust on the cabinets of suction machines, a condition that was also found Aug. 14. Inspectors also found a hose on a machine that appeared to have mold inside and another hose with residue that appeared to be bodily fluids, Koebel wrote.
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The problems found Wednesday were fixed by Friday and the clinic was ready for re-inspection, [Planned Parenthood] wrote. It is unknown what was in the tubes cited in the report, she wrote, but added that they have been replaced and no unsanitary instruments were used on patients.
Samuel H. Lee of Campaign Life Missouri said the judge’s decision will protect women and babies in the state. He thanked the state officials who have been working to enforce basic health and safety regulations.
“Because of the conscientious efforts of Attorney General Josh Hawley and Dr. Randall W. Williams, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, women in Missouri will no longer risk receiving substandard care from abortion facilities that fail to undertake even the most basic health and safety safeguards,” Lee said.
Williams, an experienced ob-gyn and director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, explained the importance of the health regulations to the court late last month:
After surgical abortions, some complications will be immediate and will require emergency transfer to a hospital from the abortion facility for emergency care. Some complications, both immediate and delayed, will be life-threatening and require hospitalization and/or surgical procedures in a time-sensitive manner. Patient safety is most at risk at the time of complications. Having a physician who can follow the patient from the abortion facility to a nearby hospital where the physician has privileges and can provide the life-saving treatment commonly associated with the usual major complications or timely treatment of other complications is part of the responsibility a physician undertakes when he or she agrees to provide that patient’s elective care. …
When the physician performing the abortion has privileges at a nearby hospital, this provides continuity of care from that physician to whom the patient has entrusted her care, with whom she has an ongoing relationship, and who knows her best. The physician can accompany her to the hospital and be there for her with his or her expertise to immediately treat her complication.
In September, Missouri won a victory when the Eighth Circuit overturned a 2017 ruling that blocked the state from enforcing the law.
A Planned Parenthood facility in Kansas City, Missouri also lost its abortion clinic license in August after struggling for months to find a new abortionist. Without one, the abortion facility was not able to complete its annual state inspection in June, a requirement for licensure.
Planned Parenthood also had plans to open abortion facilities in Joplin and Springfield, but it has not been able to meet licensing requirements at those locations either.