A state judge has ruled today the St. Louis Planned Parenthood meets requirements to get its abortion license renewed. The State Administrative Hearing Commission’s decision is a major blow to Gov. Mike Parson’s administration attempting to shut down the only abortion clinic in Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Health denied the clinic license one year ago based on allegations that Planned Parenthood botched about four abortions. Last October, the commission heard the case and it has been reviewing the details ever since.
In the decision issued, Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi says the panel has no concerns with Planned Parenthood’s quality assurance review and says there are no other indications of deficient practices.
“Although we found violations of two provisions of law, we cannot deny Planned Parenthood’s license because those findings do not constitute substantial failures to comply with §§ 197.200 through 197.400. The Department has failed to raise an affirmative defense sufficient to justify this denial,” the ruling documents say.
Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federal of America, issued a statement applauding the ruling.
“Today’s decision is a hard-fought victory for Planned Parenthood patients — and for people across Missouri. This is how we fight for our patients: case by case, day by day, to ensure abortion remains safe and legal across the country. The data shows that many have already paid the price, with the vast majority of Missouri patients forced to cross state lines to get the care they need. This is what it looks like when abortion is a right in name only. There is much more work to be done to ensure patients can access safe, legal abortion inside their home state.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services declined to comment on the ruling.
The state could appeal the decision.
To view the 97-page ruling, click here.