St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer extended a preliminary injunction on Monday allowing Missouri's St. Louis Planned Parenthood to continue performing abortions despite having no license from the state.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services declined to renew the abortion license for Planned Parenthood's St. Louis location last week.
However, Stelzer's ruling allows the facility to continue performing abortions until this Friday. He instructed Planned Parenthood to take up its challenge with the Administrative Hearing Commission, the panel that mediates disputes between state agencies and private entities.
The clinic's license actually expired at the end of May, but Stelzer intervened before the clinic closed, issuing an injunction that permitted the clinic to perform abortions while it mounted a legal challenge.
State officials made their decision after the clinic refused to comply with state regulators, who are investigating multiple botched abortions at the facility, according to the Kansas City Star.
Unfortunately, critical health violations at Missouri Planned Parenthood locations — like the one in Columbia that lost its abortion license last year — are not new.
Still, Planned Parenthood officials are determined to fight the state's decision.
"The terrifying reality is that access is hanging on by a thread with a narrowing timeline. The truth is, if the Administrative Hearing Commission does not act by Friday, abortion access in the state of Missouri will be gone," Planned Parenthood OB-GYN Dr. Colleen McNicholas said, according to the Associated Press.
If Planned Parenthood loses its legal fight, Missouri will become the first state since Roe v. Wade without an operational abortion mill.