The state of Missouri has been active in trying to protect life both at the city and state level. This week, it was announced that certain pro-life organizations, including a home for pregnant women, have won a legal battle and have been exempted from a St. Louis city ordinance that would have required them to incorporate pro-abortion elements into their operations. Portions of this law would've required certain organizations to hire pro-abortion activists or rent to abortion clinics. The ordinance would also make it illegal for pro-life employers to exclude abortion coverage from their employee health plans.
This is how Thomas More Society Special Counsel Sarah Pitlyk explained the ruling, "This law that claims to protect abortion supporters from discrimination is actually an attempt to suppress the viewpoint of those who believe that abortion is harmful or wrong by making it impossible for them to operate in accordance with their beliefs within the City of St. Louis." The ruling is a great victory for pro-life organizations and religious liberty, but there is even more good news to report.
Missouri is now down to one abortion clinic, thanks to the decision of a federal judge not to issue an injunction to keep the second clinic in Columbia, MO open. This is one part of a long abortion battle between the Columbia Planned Parenthood location and the state.
In August 2015, Planned Parenthood announced that it was going to start offering abortions at the Columbia location again for the first time since 2012. By December, the only abortion doctor at the clinic had lost her hospital admitting privileges and the University of Missouri had terminated a decades-long contract that allowed nursing students to earn clinical experience at Planned Parenthood. Although the nursing students were able to come back in a limited capacity, i.e. no participating in abortions or abortion counseling, the state of Missouri implemented laws that required the clinic to have hospital admitting privileges and be licensed as an ambulatory surgical center. The Planned Parenthood location also recently failed a surprise health inspection, where mold and bodily fluid were found in the suctioning equipment. Needless to say, the location is now temporarily closed.
It's encouraging to see a state that takes a proactive approach towards protecting religious liberty and common sense pro-life legislation that is designed to protect women and children.