“This is not a drill. This is not a warning. This is real, and it’s a public health crisis.” Those were the words of Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen Tuesday, when news broke that Missouri’s only abortion clinic might be forced to close by the end of the week, effectively ending access to legal abortion in the state. Planned Parenthood says that Missouri’s health department is threatening not to renew its license over a series of unreasonable demands, including interviewing seven of the clinic’s doctors. Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an abortion provider at the clinic, told reporters, “This is harassment and attempted intimidation of doctors at the highest levels of government.” Missouri is one of six states in the country with just one abortion clinic left. If it fails to renew the license by May 31, it will become the first state without any abortion services since Roe v. Wade recognized the constitutional right to an abortion in 1973. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit to stop the clinic’s closure. A hearing is scheduled for this afternoon in St. Louis. This comes less than a week after Missouri’s Republican Governor Mike Parson signed a law banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The law will trigger a total ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned. We speak with Dr. Erin King, a gynecologist and the executive director of Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, about 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
Erin Kinggynecologist and executive director of Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, which is about 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Missouri.