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Missouri must pay Planned Parenthood $140,000 in legal fees

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A failed bid to shut down Missouri’s lone abortion provider will cost the state $140,000.

Administration Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi granted on Friday the request from Planned Parenthood for legal fees as well as $6,600 spent on an expert witness.

A four-day trial in October 2019 highlighted the state’s efforts to close the facility at 4251 Forest Park

by denying it a license to operate based on allegations it had botched abortions.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides reproductive health care, contended that the state had “cherry-picked” a handful of difficult cases out of thousands of otherwise successful abortions.

Dandamudi ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood last year. Officials at the organization later said a new licensing inspection process was less confrontational than one in 2019 that was led by employees of state health chief Randall Williams.

Soon after, Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office said it would not pursue further appeals.

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