St. Louis, Mo., Jun 11, 2019 / 19:01 pm
Judge Michael F. Stelzer of Missouri Circuit Court in St. Louis granted the city's Planned Parenthood clinic a preliminary injunction Monday, allowing the state's only abortion clinic to remain open until June 21, despite the state's initial refusal to renew its license to perform abortions.
The judge said June 10 the authority to grant or deny the clinic's license rests with the state's Department of Health and Senior Services, and that the clinic is entitled to a decision on its status one way or another. He did not rule on the merits of the case, but issued a ruling that he said "merely maintains the status quo" until the appropriate authority – i.e. the DHSS – can make a final decision on the abortion facility's status.
The court's order mandates that the DHSS issue a decision on the renewal of Planned Parenthood's license "without undue delay but no later than June 21," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region had sued the state in late May to be able to continue to perform abortions – despite the state's failure to renew the clinic's license – arguing that the state had delayed the license in order to investigate "an unspecified patient complaint," the Post-Dispatch reports.