Quantcast
Connect with us

Protests as court weighs fate of Missouri’s sole abortion clinic

Published

on

A US court on Thursday weighed the fate of the last abortion clinic in Missouri, which risks becoming the first state in 45 years without access to the procedure amid a nationwide push to curtail reproductive rights.

As a judge heard arguments, crowds of protestors took to the streets of Missouri’s largest city St. Louis, warning of dire consequences if the state of six million loses its sole abortion provider.

ADVERTISEMENT

“No one should decide what women do with their bodies,” said Jane Wees Martin, a 70-year-old painter who was among the hundreds holding up signs reading “My vagina, My choice,” and “Reproductive autonomy is a human right.”

Denouncing a “war against women,” health management student Neha Hanumanthiah, 19, said “I did not realize how conservative my state was.”

The state is pursuing a case against Planned Parenthood, which provides women’s reproductive services throughout the United States, arguing that the group failed to make its contract doctors cooperate with an investigation into its practices.

AFP / SAUL LOEB Protestors marched in support of Planned Parenthood and the right to safe, legal abortion in St. Louis, Missouri, on May 30, 2019

John Sauer, Missouri’s solicitor general, told Thursday’s hearing the non-profit had “washed its hands of the issue.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Planned Parenthood’s attorney Jamie Boyer argued meanwhile that Missouri was acting in bad faith, with “shifting interpretations of its regulations.”

She said the organization could not “in good conscience ask doctors to sit for an interview on wide-ranging (subjects) in an investigation which might result in criminal charges.”

It will be up to Judge Michael Stelzer to decide whether to grant Planned Parenthood’s request for a restraining order, or allow its license to perform abortions in the state to expire on Friday night.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Concerted strategy –

AFP / SAUL LOEB Activists warn of dire consequences if Missouri, a state of six million, loses its sole abortion clinic

The Missouri case comes as more than a dozen US states — including recently Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana — passed laws restricting abortion as part of a concerted strategy to push the issue before the Supreme Court.

The top US court, now dominated by a conservative majority, enshrined a woman’s right to have an abortion in 1973, allowing for conditions to be placed on it only after the first trimester of pregnancy.

ADVERTISEMENT

The states restricting abortion access have generally sought to roll back when the procedure is permitted, to as early as when a heartbeat is first detected — around six weeks of gestation when many women do not yet know they are pregnant.

Most of the measures are expected to face legal challenges — and eventually end up before the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law his state’s measure prohibiting abortions of fetuses with a “detectable heartbeat.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier this month Missouri lawmakers passed a bill banning abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest.

Planned Parenthood alleges in its lawsuit that the state has sought to use its regulatory powers to deny it a license.

It says the state’s health department is attempting to shut down its abortion service by “unlawfully conditioning a decision on its routine license renewal application on completion of a supposed ‘investigation’ of a patient complaint.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Appearing on a local Fox affiliate, obstetrician-gynecologist Colleen McNicholas said that “by continuing to change the way that they are interpreting their own rules, it makes it impossible for us to be able to comply because we are just guessing what they think.”

– Religion –

AFP / SAUL LOEB Planned Parenthood alleges that the state of Missouri has sought to use its regulatory powers to deny it a license to perform abortions

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who recently signed the state’s new abortion law, on Wednesday accused Planned Parenthood of “actively and knowingly violating state law on numerous occasions.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Regardless if you support abortion or not, Planned Parenthood should be able to meet the basic standards of health care under the law,” he said.

Many of the protesters in St. Louis disagreed, with some arguing the governor was motivated by his Christian Baptist faith.

“He is trying to put his religion into law in Missouri,” said Sara Sullivan, a 32-year-old mother of two daughters.

ADVERTISEMENT

In front of the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, opponents of abortion encourage patients to continue their pregnancies, as they do every day.

“These people harass patients who go in,” 37-year-old mother of three Nicki Island said.

She held a poster with an image of a hanger — a symbol of clandestine abortions to which women resorted when the procedure was illegal — and the words: “We will not go back!”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘I can take five points off him’: Scaramucci launchings SuperPAC to kill off Trump’s re-election

Published

on

Former White House press secretary Anthony Scaramucci will be openly campaigning against President Donald Trump.

"I can no longer in good conscience support the president’s reelection," Scaramucci, also known as "The Mooch," wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published online Monday night.

Now he's going even further. Republican strategist Mike Murphy tweeted Tuesday that Scaramucci is "launching and funding a new SuperPAC to run ads against Trump."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

New report exposes ‘sordid details’ of Jeffrey Epstein’s outrageous jail sentence as alleged in new lawsuit

Published

on

Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women continued even as he was supposed to be in jail in 2008, according to a new lawsuit detailed in the Miami Herald.

The financier and sex offender pleaded guilty to state charges of prostitution in 2008, mysteriously escaping much more severe federal sex trafficking charges via a non-prosecution agreement that is now under review. Epstein’s treatment by prosecutors has come under close scrutiny because of many such bizarre decisions, which nearly all observers agree constituted a “sweetheart deal” given the evidence against him.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Gov. Matt Bevin says Kentucky teachers only protested him so they wouldn’t have to go to work

Published

on

In a local radio interview on Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin (R-KY) appeared to suggest that teachers in his state only launched protests against his administration so that they could get time off from work.

"The same bill came forward again this summer when nobody was in school, and nobody showed up," Bevin told right-wing talk radio host Brian Thomas. "When it's vacation time, people are a little less worked up it seems."

Teachers across Kentucky staged so-called "sickouts" in response to a Bevin-backed plan in the state legislature that would massively scale back teacher pensions — cuts that were ultimately ruled illegal by the Kentucky Supreme Court (in fact, the bill that was introduced this summer was not actually "the same bill," and was a much more modest change to state pensions).

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image