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Missouri to become first US state without an abortion clinic


Missouri could become the first state in the United States without an abortion clinic, authorities warned.
Al Jazeera quoted nonprofit organisation, Planned Parenthood, claiming that Missouri's only abortion clinic expects to be shut down this week after the state health department refused to renew its license, which would make it the only US state without a legal abortion clinic.
"This is not a drill," said Leana Wen, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which runs the clinic.
"This is not a warning. This is real and it's a public health crisis," she added.
"More than a million women of reproductive age in Missouri will no longer have access to a health centre in the state they live in that provides abortion care," Wen was quoted as saying.Planned Parenthood said in a statement that the clinic would sue the state health department to preserve access to legal abortions in the state.
Last Friday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill into law that bans abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, Al Jazeera reported.
Missouri was one of several states that have passed anti-abortion legislation this year in an effort to provoke the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US Supreme Court sent a mixed message on abortion, refusing to consider reinstating Indiana's ban on abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the foetus while upholding the state's requirement that foetal remains be buried or cremated after the procedure is done.
Alabama is the latest state to pass an abortion restriction bill. Earlier this month, Georgia passed a law that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Ohio and Mississippi too have similar legislation.
The bill bans abortion at every stage of pregnancy and criminalises the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison.
The bill represents the most far-reaching effort in the US this year to curb abortion rights. Democrats have criticised the bill, calling it an outrageous, appalling, and unconstitutional attack on women.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 6:22 AM IST

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