Gov. Parson says judge’s ruling in Planned Parenthood case doesn’t solve a thing

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By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson/Photo by Brent Martin

Gov. Mike Parson says a ruling by a St. Louis judge in the ongoing dispute between the state and Planned Parenthood resolves nothing.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer has ruled the state cannot simply allow the license for the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic to lapse. He’s given the state a June 21st deadline to decide whether to issue a license.

Parson says the judge sidestepped his responsibility.

“I don’t know what the accomplishment of that was or what his reasoning was for it, but I think, one, he should have made the judgment, the ruling on does he need to hear it or does he not? Does it go to the courts or does it go to the administrative side of it? I think that’s what everybody was expecting. I have no idea why he came up with a decision like that,” Parson tells reporters during a stop in St. Joseph.

Parson sees no reason for the judge to issue the deadline.

“To me, he has a job to rule in a case,” Parson says. “I don’t think postponing it really was the right thing to do.”

Stelzer extended a preliminary injunction requested by Planned Parenthood to keep the state from allowing its license to lapse. The Missouri Department of Health, citing concerns for patient safety, failed to renew the license of Missouri’s only abortion clinic at the end of May. Stelzer has ordered the department to decide on Planned Parenthood’s renewal application by June 21st, ruling the state cannot simply allow the license to lapse without taking any action.

Parson says there is one question Planned Parenthood needs to answer:  what are the safety measures at its St. Louis clinic?

“Are they meeting the requirements like every other facility in the state? It doesn’t matter whether there is one or numerous people who are doing this. They still have to abide by the laws of the state of Missouri and they have to abide by the regulatory side of it,” according to Parson.

Parson says once those are satisfied, their doors can open.

“We’ll see what the end of it is. We’re going to keep pulling forward. As long as they cooperate with us and they make the changes, we’re willing to renew that license,” Parson says. “This is limbo right now; didn’t change anything. So, again, I don’t think the judge accomplished anything.”