Hospital admitting privilege requirements have led to a Columbia Planned Parenthood ending its surgical abortion services, leaving the state of Missouri with just one abortion facility.
In September, a University of Missouri Health Care panel voted to cease offering “refer and follow” privileges (which allow doctors to only refer patients but leave patient care to the hospital’s doctors), which were how Planned Parenthood initially obtained the credentials to perform abortions in the state.
The decision would render the Columbia Planned Parenthood’s abortionist ineligible for privileges that satisfy state law, effective December 1, leading to Planned Parenthood’s closure. Now the state’s last abortion facility will be a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
The change was partially inspired by ongoing scandal over Planned Parenthood’s sale of organs from aborted babies, though state investigators did not find evidence the Missouri Planned Parenthood affiliate was involved in the organ harvesting business.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri CEO, Laura McQuade, said her organization will attempt to pressure the University of Missouri into reversing its decision, and has expressed hope that the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming hearing of similar laws in Texas will invalidate it.
On Monday, 40 Days for Life’s Kathy Forck said pro-lifers celebrated the news by releasing one balloon outside of the facility for every abortion performed there since its license was reissued this summer.