A Missouri Planned Parenthood described as one of the worst abortion facilities in the country for women’s safety will be allowed to remain open for another year.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services was forced to renew the St. Louis abortion facility’s license last week because of a court ruling in May.
Over the weekend, Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt said the state will not appeal the ruling, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
“The Department of Health and Senior Services has made it clear that they are not interested in pursuing this further since a new license has been issued and the issue is moot, therefore no further action will be taken,” said Chris Nuelle, a spokesperson for Schmitt’s office.
The Planned Parenthood in St. Louis has a long history of putting women’s lives at risk while aborting unborn babies. Among state health inspectors’ findings was a botched abortion that took five attempts to finish and a failure to report abortion complications to the state. In another case, state health inspectors said a woman had to undergo a second abortion after the abortionist failed to recognize that she was pregnant with twins.
Additionally, pro-lifers have documented at least 75 occasions when ambulances were called to the abortion facility for women suffering from complications.
Before issuing the license last week, the state health department inspected the abortion facility again and found improvements, health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox told the newspaper.
“While we still strongly disagree with some of the legal determinations in the [Administrative Hearing Commission] decision, we are encouraged by the improvements in the quality of the care practices and procedures that have been made over the past year,” Cox said.
She said patients’ safety and well-being will continue to be their priority as they conduct inspections and issue licenses.
Last year, state health officials fought to shut down the abortion facility, citing major health and safety violations, including “multiple life-threatening abortions.” However, in May, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood.
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Dandamudi argued that the state did not present enough evidence to justify revoking the license, the Kansas City Star reported at the time. He said the abortion facility showed that it met the state license renewal requirements.
Reacting to the news, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, expressed concerns about women’s and children’s safety.
“Unborn children and their mothers face dire health risks — especially during a pandemic — so long as the St. Louis Planned Parenthood is permitted to remain open,” she said in May. “This particular facility’s track record shows an appalling pattern of botched abortions and other violations that prove they are incapable of policing themselves.”
In the midst of the legal battle, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state health department, accused Planned Parenthood of trying to vilify his agency for doing its job. He said their decision to revoke the abortion facility’s license was based on serious concerns about patient safety.
Williams previously said they found 30 deficiencies at the abortion facility, and Planned Parenthood only provided a plan to correct four, ABC News reported at the time. According to NBC, problems found during the March 2019 inspection also included “at least one incident in which patient safety was gravely compromised,” “failed surgical abortions in which women remained pregnant” and failure to obtain “informed consent.”
However, lawyers for Planned Parenthood argued that the safety concerns are overblown, and state pro-life political leaders just want to shut them down.
The court battle drew national attention because the St. Louis Planned Parenthood is the only abortion facility left in the state. Late last year, however, the abortion chain secretly built another huge new abortion facility just a few miles away, across the Illinois border.
LifeNews has extensively chronicled the litany of health problems at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood, including: