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Judge rules MO Planned Parenthood can keep license during lawsuit

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Following up on her initial postponement of Missouri health officials’ revocation of the Columbia Planned Parenthood’s abortion license, US District Judge Nanette Laughrey has decided the state affiliate of the abortion giant may keep its license until at least the end of the month, while she considers Planned Parenthood’s arguments.

The Columbia facility lost its license when the University of Missouri Health Care system medical staff voted to discontinue the form of admitting-privilege standards under which it qualified (“refer and follow” privileges, which allow doctors to  only refer patients but leave patient care to the hospital’s doctors).

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the decision on Monday, leading Laughrey to issue a two-day stay on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she concluded Planned Parenthood could keep its license until the merits of its lawsuit were decided.

Laughrey concluded that because the state normally gives other health centers time to meet changing requirements, the removal of Planned Parenthood’s license “may be the result of animus toward the center and the work it performs there.” She further argued that because the facility would still need qualify for the new privileges requirements before resuming abortions, “neither patient nor public welfare is at risk by plaintiff maintaining its license.”

Campaign Life Missouri director Sam Lee said that while the decision does not directly affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to perform abortion, retaining their license will make it easier to resume them once it finds a new abortionist.

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