Trials & Litigation

Planned Parenthood

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A St. Louis judge has issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the closing of Missouri’s only remaining abortion clinic.

Judge Michael Stelzer granted the request for the TRO in an order Friday, report the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Washington Post, ABC News and CNN. The TRO remains in effect until Stelzer can rule on a request for a preliminary injunction by the plaintiff, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

Planned Parenthood’s license had been set to expire at midnight Friday. Missouri would be the only state without an abortion provider if the St. Louis facility closes.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday, says the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is trying to shut down its St. Louis abortion clinic by refusing to renew its license until an investigation of a patient complaint is completed.

The department has not disclosed the contents of the complaint and has refused to “proceed with its investigation in a reasonable manner,” the suit says.

The department is seeking to interview seven doctors who worked at the clinic as part of its investigation. Five doctors have refused to be interviewed. Planned Parenthood says it can’t require the doctors to agree to interviews because they are employed by university medical programs rather than Planned Parenthood.

The suit notes that on May 24, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The week before he had tweeted that it was “time to make Missouri the most Pro-Life state in the country!”