ST. LOUIS (New York Times) — A judge in Missouri gave the state’s last abortion clinic more time to resolve a dispute with the state health department, defusing a standoff that had threatened to shut down all abortion services in the state at midnight on Friday.
Gov. Mike Parson has said that the clinic, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, needs to clear up what he described as “a number of serious health concerns” as part of a state audit. The audit must be completed, the state has said, before the clinic’s license can be renewed.
Leaders of the clinic say the state is making unreasonable requests and is bent on closing the clinic for political reasons. They filed suit this week arguing that the state was abusing its regulatory authority.
Lawyers for the clinic presented their case before Judge Michael F. Stelzer of Missouri Circuit Court in St. Louis on Thursday, and he granted a temporary restraining order Friday afternoon.