ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer was scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday in Planned Parenthood's lawsuit aimed at forcing state health officials to renew the facility's license – only he didn’t. Instead, Judge Stelzer listened to the clinic’s motions to clarify the purpose of the hearing.
Stelzer also quashed subpoenas filed by the state attempting to force four doctors to testify in the case. Lawyers for the doctors said in court "that compliance with the subpoenas would present an undue burden and hardship" on the doctors.
“Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for people and they need to know what happened today in court, with the state weaponizing and Governor Parson weaponizing health review,” said M'Evie Mead, director of Planned Parenthood Missouri.
Last Friday, Judge Stelzer temporarily allowed Planned Parenthood to remain open until Tuesday’s hearing. But now he’ll hear full arguments on Wednesday.
“We're very concerned about the notion that people still don’t know from day-to-day and are on pins and needles on whether they can access state and legal abortion in their home state,” Mead said.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services didn’t renew Planned Parenthood Missouri's license due to the governor saying the state discovered “numerous violations of state laws and regulations."
“In order to renew our license, Planned Parenthood bent over backwards to meet unnecessary requests from the state but they did it,” Mead said.
Lawyers representing the state did not speak with the media on Tuesday.