The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Planned Parenthood can continue with plans to obtain abortion licenses for its Columbia, Joplin and Springfield clinics. The court denied the state of Missouri’s stay motion that would have blocked the organization from offering abortions.

Planned Parenthood wins another fight to expand abortion services in Missouri

Currently, abortion services are available in two Missouri cities — Kansas City and St. Louis.

“By allowing us to continue expanding health care access, this lets us ensure women in our state can get the care they need closer to their own community. We will continue working with the state to obtain licenses in Springfield and Joplin so we can provide care to patients in southwest Missouri as soon as possible,” said Mary M. Kogut, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

A statement from Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim President and CEO Aaron Samulcek called the court’s order “a victory” for Missouri women.

“The last thing that should stand in the way of their access to sexual and reproductive health care is an extreme politician who doesn’t know the first thing about health care delivery,” Samulcek said.

Planned Parenthood has been working to increase access to abortions in Missouri, especially since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling more than one year ago. The high court’s decision found that requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and making abortion clinics follow hospital-like standards are unconstitutional in Texas.

Missouri has laws similar to those struck down in Texas, prompting Planned Parenthood to take on the state. The issue has been tied up in court for nearly a year.