July 20, 2015 — A Missouri abortion clinic will resume offering abortion care next month, bringing the number of licensed abortion clinics in the state up to two, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports.
Columbia Planned Parenthood had to suspend abortion care several years ago, after the physician who provided the procedure resigned (Favignano, Columbia Daily Tribune, 7/18). Since then, the Columbia facility has offered abortion referrals.
Currently, Missouri has only one abortion clinic, in St. Louis.
Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said Columbia Planned Parenthood will start offering medication abortion on a "weekly basis" beginning in August. PPKMM also plans to resume surgical abortions at the facility in January and increase the availability of medication abortion either through the provider's schedule or by hiring additional providers (Lear, Missourinet, 7/20).
According to the Daily Tribune, the clinic also has added Coventry Health Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri to the list of plans it will accept (Columbia Daily Tribune, 7/18).
McQuade added that PPKMM eventually would like to add another clinic near Kansas City, Mo.
Clinic 'Incredibly Important' for Women in State
McQuade said the resumed services are "incredibly important for the women of Missouri" because the state's sole abortion provider during that time was located in St. Louis. She added, "To be able to return services halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis in order to enable women to access these services closer to home was incredibly important, we believe, to Planned Parenthood, but more importantly to the women of Missouri."
Further, McQuade said the resumed services were particularly significant in light of a 2014 state law (HR 1307) that requires women to wait 72 hours before an abortion. "That three-day waiting period is an incredible hurdle," she said, adding, "To be able to not to have to travel long distances twice is an incredible opportunity for women, and we hope that this will improve access to these services for women" (Missourinet, 7/20).