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Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, / video screen grab

ST. LOUIS, August 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood’s last abortion facility in Missouri continues to operate without an abortion license, despite a history of health violations and a deadline that came and went months ago.

Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region has been fighting the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services over its annual license renewal, arguing that the state is trying to “intimidate” abortionists by making renewal contingent on interviewing them about patient complaints. 

The abortion giant filed a lawsuit at St. Louis Circuit Court seeking a restraining order to preserve its license, without which it would have had to stop committing abortions after the license expired in June. Health officials want to interview five contract physicians regarding seven incidents flagged by inspectors, which Planned Parenthood opposes on the grounds that their answers could lead to criminal charges.

In May, Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer granted the facility a temporary restraining order, allowing it to keep committing abortions, and the next month, he ruled that the center could stay open at least until June 21. That day, he extended Planned Parenthood’s reprieve yet again, for an unspecified period of time.

“Despite the fact that Missouri’s one abortion facility, a Planned Parenthood, has documented issues that cause harm to women, a judge has shamefully allowed it to continue operating without a license,” Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins said. “This kind of blatant disregard for the people of America to have a voice on abortion policy is a result of the activism of the Supreme Court and will continue to motivate Americans at the ballot box.”

“An ambulance has been called to this particular facility in Saint Louis more than 70 times since 2009,” Susan B. Anthony List’s Mallory Quigley previousl noted, adding that “we know what happens when public health officials don’t inspect abortion facilities. It happened in Pennsylvania for 17 years,” she continued, invoking the case of the notorious Kermit Gosnell.

All told, state health officials have given the Missouri Planned Parenthood facility 30 citations of medical malpractice, including complications in four surgical abortions.

It’s unclear what the next development in this situation will be. But if the St. Louis facility is ultimately forced to stop committing abortions, the next closest abortion facilities will be in Granite City, Illinois (ten miles from St. Louis) or Kansas City, Kansas (260 miles from St. Louis).