Legal deadline in Missouri abortion license case pushed back

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A decision on whether Missouri’s only abortion clinic can keep its license will be pushed back a little further.

The Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission agreed on Tuesday to the state health department’s request for an extension until March 16 to file written briefs. The previous deadline was Feb. 28.

It isn’t clear when the hearing commissioner will rule after receiving the written briefs. The case was also the subject of a hearing in October.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services wants to revoke the license for Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis clinic at 4251 Forest Park Ave., citing concerns about four instances of what the state called “failed abortions.” Planned Parenthood officials say conservatives are trying to use the licensing process to end abortions in Missouri.

The clinic in St. Louis is the only one in Missouri that offers the procedure. Revocation would make Missouri the first state since 1974, the year after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, without a functioning abortion clinic. The St. Louis clinic remains open pending the commission’s ruling.

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