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Police security sought for St. Louis abortion clinic hearing

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri officials are asking St. Louis police to provide security for an upcoming hearing on the state’s effort to end the abortion license for Planned Parenthood’s clinic at 4251 Forest Park Ave.

Both sides of the abortion issue have held vigils and protests over the licensing of the clinic, the only facility in Missouri that provides abortion services. It has continued to offer those services while the case is pending.

The next hearing is Oct. 28 at a state office building in downtown St. Louis. Administrative Hearing Commission staff attorney Ranada Vinyard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that officials had been in contact with police because of the high-profile nature of the case.

Planned Parenthood has been battling the state for months to try to keep the clinic open. The state has cited concerns that include “failed abortions” that required additional surgeries.

Planned Parenthood’s new Illinois clinic set to open

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS (AP) — A clinic quietly constructed in Southern Illinois to meet demand for abortion services by residents outside the state is close to opening.

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri said Wednesday would be opening day for its Fairview Heights clinic.

The new 18,000-square-foot facility will provide surgical and medication abortions, family planning services, annual exams, sexually transmitted infection testing and HIV prevention.

The clinic’s construction began last year, but details weren’t released until near completion to avoid protesters and potential construction delays.

Missouri is among several conservative states to pass new abortion restrictions in the hope that the increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.

Planned Parenthood officials say Illinois is well-positioned to serve as a health care hub for the region.

Botanical Garden getting new $92 million center

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new $92 million visitor center is planned at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

Officials with the garden announced the project Monday. Groundbreaking is scheduled for January, and the center that will be known as the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022.

It replaces the current Ridgway Visitor Center that was built in 1982 and was meant to accommodate 250,000 annual visitors. The garden typically gets about 1 million visitors annually.

The garden will remain open during construction. Its president, Peter Wyse Jackson, said the project would allow the garden “to advance our role as a global leader in plant science, and as an important cultural institution for the region and the nation.”

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