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Missouri’s last abortion clinic warns it may close after state action

(Reuters) – 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 U.S. state without a legal abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood said on Tuesday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This is a real public health crisis,” said Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which runs the clinic. “More than a million women of reproductive age in Missouri will no longer have access to a health center in the state they live in that provides abortion care.”

Planned Parenthood said in a statement that the clinic would sue the state health department on Tuesday to preserve access to legal abortions in the state.

On Friday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill into law that bans abortion beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy. It was one of eight states that have passed anti-abortion legislation this year in an effort aimed at provoking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot

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