A judge in St. Louis has ordered the state of Missouri to let an abortion business remain open and conducting abortions, concluding that its expired Health Department license is no reason to close it down.
The decision left pro-life activists wondering about what it takes to close down an abortion business that declined to take measures to meet state health requirements.
“We are disappointed that this judge (Michael Stelzer) decided to prevent the DHSS from enforcing the laws and regulations of Missouri that were enacted to protect women from harm,” said Troy Newman, chief of Operation Rescue.
“With the help of local activists, we have documented at least 74 women who have suffered harm at RHS Planned Parenthood and were transported to local hospitals by ambulance. We believe that makes this abortion facility too dangerous to operate. It should be shut down in order to protect the public from further serious harm that other women have already suffered.”
Stelzer’s order technically said the state could not consider the license for Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood expired, even though it was not renewed by the deadline.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services had argued the facility was not operating legally because it did not meet standard state licensing requirements.
The abortionists failed a facility inspection in March 2019, which put them in non-compliance with licensing requirements. Officials there also failed to submit an acceptable plan of correction prior to the expiration of its license on May 31, 2019.
Then the abortionists went to court to demand that they be allowed to remain in business even though they were not in compliance.
Stelzer’s ruling provided a preliminary injunction to the abortionists, and further hearings on the dispute are expected. It is the last operating abortion business in Missouri, and its closure would leave a state without such a business for the first time in years.
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins noted, “Planned Parenthood caused this artificial crisis when they ignored the law and refused to comply with the state of Missouri’s very reasonable requests. This will not end well, as already we’ve seen 80 emergency vehicles called to this location, though the seven abortion doctors have yet to tell us what went wrong.
“But today we’ve been reminded again that one thing wrong with how the abortion issue is handled in the U.S. is the intrusion of activist judges who consistently favor the abortion industry. Earlier this year, Students for Life found that 65 percent of Millennials support the right to vote on abortion-related policy and want a voice on abortion policy. The events in Missouri today will rally the Pro-Life Generation who are tired of the kind of judicial activism we saw today.”
Reuters explained the judge’s ruling calls for the state to determine “officially” the future of the abortion business’s license.
Stelzer said the state must make a decision on that license by June 21. Then, he said, Planned Parenthood would be entitled to an official review.
It is just one state in which fights now are looming over abortion. Nearly a dozen this year have adopted additional restrictions on abortion, some severe.
Organizers of the effort in several states have bluntly stated they are going after a reversal of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that created abortion rights, a decision that even its author doubted at the time it was released.
A key component of the failure of Planned Parenthood to obtain a license renewal was that the state wanted to interview abortionists that conducted business there that “had outcomes that required further investigation.”
The state was unable to interview those key figures in the fight.
Assistant Attorney General John Sauer had argued the state has a right to hear the testimony from the abortionists over concerns about the quality of care at the clinic.
Operation Rescue said the “most common abortion complication suffered by women transported by ambulance from RHS Planned Parenthood is hemorrhaging, a life-threatening, yet avoidable, condition.”
Other issues at RHS in recent months have included an inability to conduct chemical abortions due to failure to meet new safety regulations, the resignation of CEO Mary Kogut last year and a failure to meet licensing requirements, which led to cancelling expansion to Springfield and Joplin.
There were multiple safety violations documented in 2017 during a “failed inspection report,” OR said.
“Missouri has led the way on enacting innovative abortion laws and regulations that are meant to protect the lives of innocent babies and their mothers. Planned Parenthood [can’t] or won’t comply,” said Newman.
“For years we have been calling out the St. Louis Planned Parenthood as being the most dangerous abortion facility in the U.S. If this abortion facility halts abortions, we know that fewer babies will die and women will be spared from suffering serious injury from abortions.
“Missouri pro-life groups, who we have worked with over the years, have accomplished a great deal. Their approach to activism and legislation is an example for others to follow,” said Newman.
The organization documents that in late 2016 there were 730 outpatient abortion facilities in the U.S., including 515 surgical facilities and 215 locations offering medication abortions.
Since 1991, 81 percent of all surgical abortion facilities in the U.S. have closed.
And Operation Rescue documented a “steady decline” in abortions since 1980.
CBS noted the abortionists at Planned Parenthood still would be able to provide non-abortion services for women in Missouri.
“Unplanned” drop in abortions
WND reported last month that Shawn Carney, the president and CEO of 40 Days for Life, said the release of the hit movie “Unplanned” was followed by an immediate drop in abortion traffic at abortion businesses, by 50 percent at one location and 25 percent at another.
The organization has conducted 40-day prayer vigils in 816 cities in 56 countries around the globe. They set up volunteers – 1 million so far in a decade – to pray around the clock for 40 days.
Their objective is to save babies, help hurting mothers and help abortion-industry employees move to other jobs.
The movie tells the dramatic true story of a Planned Parenthood clinic manager, Abby Johnson, who quits and becomes a pro-life activist after assisting in an abortion.
When Johnson quit, she immediately went to Carney at his organization’s headquarters across from the Planned Parenthood she managed in Bryan, Texas.
Carney told WND in an interview that he and Johnson had known each other for years, both having attended Texas A&M University. When she started working at Planned Parenthood, he started with 40 Days for Life.
He recalls the day that Johnson, “distraught, completely broken,” walked into his office.
He said he was worried about her future after having turned her back on the abortion industry’s biggest player.
Carney said that with the release of “Unplanned,” participation in the prayer vigils has surged 30 percent.
“It’s just been a wave of enthusiasm,” he said. “People are actually going out and peacefully praying.”
He said Johnson is the 26th of 186 abortion workers who have fled the industry since 40 Days began its work.
He praised the movie makers.
“Their boldness in showing pro-life activism in a positive light really took a lot of courage,” he said.
The movie, he said, already is in 56 countries, and he’s anticipating the international impact.
Most people, he said, don’t realize that there have been 61 million babies lost to abortion in America alone since the Supreme Court created that right in 1973.
See the “Unplanned” trailer: