Planned Parenthood has said that Missouri State officials may not renew their license, which could bar the clinic, the last in the state, from performing abortions by the end of the week.
If the clinic is forced to stop providing the service, it would be the first time since the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision that any state had no functioning abortion clinics. Over the last decade, four other Planned Parenthoods have closed in Missouri, leaving only the St. Louis location.
“This is not a drill. This is not a warning. This is real and it’s a public health crisis,” said the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Dr. Leana Wen.
Planned Parenthood said that state officials told them they are currently investigating “a large number of possible deficiencies,” and that several of their physicians had refused interviews with the government. The state revealed that the interviews could result in a “board review” and even “criminal proceedings.”
Missouri is one of the states which passed wide-ranging anti-abortion measures last week. The new legislation issues a blanket ban on abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Doctors who violate the law could face up to 15 years in prison.
Women who want to have an abortion if the clinic closes its doors will have to travel to a nearby state to do so. Missouri Planned Parenthoods would still be able to carry on conducting non-abortion health services.
Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit calling for a restraining order against the state hoping to go over authorities’ heads to get their license renewed. The court case is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.