Columbia center no longer licensed for abortions

Planned Parenthood’s Columbia Health Center is no longer licensed to perform abortions.

The center had suspended its abortion services in 2012 because of a lack of physician availability. But it was still licensed to perform abortions until recently. That leaves a St. Louis Planned Parenthood as the only one in Missouri licensed for the procedure.

While Planned Parenthood says it expects to be re-licensed in the future, pro-life groups are hailing the license loss as a victory.

“I really feel this is God’s victory,” said Kathy Forck of New Bloomfield. “God has taken away their license. It’s such a relief to know they will never do abortions.”

Forck and her husband, Mike, are the campaign directors for the Columbia-based chapter of 40 Days for Life. The movement includes daily prayer vigils at the Columbia Planned Parenthood from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We have not renewed our license since we are not providing abortion services at this time,” said Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. “Planned Parenthood was in complete compliance with the licensing requirements in the past and fully expects to be re-licensed when we resume services.”

Until then, he said, the Columbia Planned Parenthood will continue to refer abortion services to centers in Kansas and Missouri, he said.

The Columbia center still will provide services such as wellness exams, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings and birth control.

Forck said 40 Days for Life will continue their vigils at the Columbia Planned Parenthood, and that her prayers will include asking for the complete closure of the center.

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