A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic, saying that the state cannot legally shut the clinic down.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said in her ruling that the state of Missouri does not have the right to revoke the clinic’s abortion license or to shut it down.
Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services had warned that it would revoke the clinic’s license if the clinic’s doctor who performed the abortions lost needed privileges with University of Missouri Health Care.
The Department said it would revoke the clinic’s abortion license as soon as their abortion doctor lost his privileges.
Lawyers defending the revocation of the license argued that the Missouri Planned Parenthood knew that it needed to employ a doctor with certain hospital privileges in order to legally perform abortions. The lawyers also said that the clinic had time to comply with these standards, but did not do so.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who led the investigation into Planned Parenthood, said the University granted the clinic’s abortion doctor the privileges he needed so that the clinic could obtain an abortion license. Schaefer condemned the use of public funding from the University to support abortion.
He said he makes "no apology for my role in uncovering that tax dollars were being used to enable abortions in Missouri."
Judge Laughrey, however, stated that the Department’s actions “likely were the result of political pressure being exerted by Missouri legislators and the Department's perception that if it did not act in accordance with the legislature's desires, its budget would be cut.”
Laughrey ruled that the clinic’s license cannot be revoked before its expiration in June.
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: May 12, 2016