Missouri's last remaining abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, will be allowed to continue providing abortions after a state administrative commissioner gave the clinic a motion to stay on Friday afternoon, according to court documents. The decision effectively will let the clinic continue operations despite not having a license from the state.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services declined to renew the clinic's license to perform abortions last week, a decision that Planned Parenthood appealed to the state's Administrative Hearing Commission. Even though the clinic was denied its license, Planned Parenthood had been allowed to continue providing abortion this week, protected by a judge-ordered injunction that's set to expire Friday at 5 p.m.
"We are relieved to have this last-minute reprieve, which means patients can continue accessing safe, legal abortion at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis for the time being," said Dr. Colleen McNicholas, a physician at Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, in a statement provided to CBS News.
"This has been a week-to-week fight for our patients and every Missourian who needs access to abortion care," McNicholas added. "There are two things that remain unchanged in Missouri: the uncertainty our patients face, and our will to continue fighting for their right to access safe, legal abortion."