Planned Parenthood's St. Louis office wins legal victory in court

The judge says the move by Missouri to cut off funding was constitutionally flawed.

June 18, 2019 - 2:31 am

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/AP) — A St. Louis judge says Missouri's Republican-led Legislature cannot cut off funding to abortion providers and their affiliates.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge David Dowd on Friday ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood. The organization sued in February against efforts by Missouri lawmakers to block state funding from going to Planned Parenthood.

The last abortion clinic in the state of Missouri releases a statement Tuesday morning, saying in part: 

"This case underscores aggressive attacks levied by state lawmakers and Governor Parson’s administration on all aspects of reproductive health care. Under Parson’s watch public health outcomes are alarming. Maternal mortality rates in Missouri are 50% higher than the rest of the country. A syphilis outbreak is sweeping the state. Gov. Parson says he values life but his actions are endangering Missourians’ health and lives."

Related: Judge grants restraining order for Planned Parenthood abortion clinic license

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that attorneys for the organization argued that some of its chapters provide preventative health care and not abortion and shouldn't be financially penalized.

Dowd agreed. He ruled that the funding prohibition could not be completely enforced. He says the move was constitutionally flawed.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson in a statement said the ruling will be appealed. He says the state stands by the position that taxpayer dollars should not be used for abortion.

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