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St. Louis’s last abortion clinic defies state, won’t do second pelvic exam

(Photo via NARAL)

ST. LOUIS — Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, the last clinic in Missouri that performs abortions, has said it will no longer do the second pelvic exam required by state law.

The clinic is currently fighting to keep open as the state holds its license in limbo. A court has ruled that the clinic can remain open until the state makes a decision on the clinic’s license.

CBS News reported that the clinics doctors say the examination is “unethical.”

From CBS News:

The abortion clinic said Wednesday that it would no longer comply with regulators’ interpretation of state law regarding the pelvic exams. Beginning soon, doctors at the clinic said they would conduct a pelvic exam only at the time of the procedure — which is when they deem it medically relevant — not at the initial consultation 72 hours prior.

The announcement came just two days before a judge-mandated deadline for the state’s health department to make a final decision on whether to renew Planned Parenthood’s abortion license.

“We are choosing to provide the best quality, patient centered care that we’ve always provided at Planned Parenthood,” said Dr. David Eisenberg, the clinic’s medical director, in an interview with CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver. “And that includes doing things that are driven by science, by evidence, and by what’s medically appropriate.”

In late May, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against Missouri’s health department for refusing to make a decision on the clinic’s license. Since then, the agency and the clinic have been in a legal back-and-forth moderated by a district judge, who has mandated the state make a final decision by Friday.

It will be up to a judge what happens if the state does not renew the license. If the clinic closes, Missouri will be the first state with no access to abortion within its borders since Roe v. Wade.

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