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Parson won’t appeal ruling in favor of abortion clinic here

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will not contest the license issued to the state’s only abortion clinic after a yearlong legal battle over whether the Planned Parenthood center at 4251 Forest Park Ave. in St. Louis could stay open.

The administration said its decision to issue an operating license last week to Planned Parenthood’s clinic in St. Louis’ Central West End makes an appeal unneeded, according to a statement from the Republican governor’s top health official.

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office concurred.

“The Department of Health and Senior Services has made it clear that they are not interested in pursuing this further since a new license has been issued and the issue is moot; therefore no further action will be taken,” spokesman Chris Nuelle said.

The Department of Health and Senior Services declined last year to renew the clinic’s license, which meant it wouldn’t have been allowed to provide abortions.

Planned Parenthood sued. The state’s Administrative Hearing Commission ruled in May that the health department was wrong not to renew the clinic’s license.

The health department, which is represented by the state Attorney General’s Office, had until Monday’s deadline to decide whether to appeal the Administrative Hearing Commission ruling.

“While we still strongly disagree with some of the legal determinations in the [Administrative Hearing Commission] decision, we are encouraged by the improvements in the quality of the care practices and procedures that have been made over the past year,” health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said.

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