Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid‐Missouri sue Mo. Department of Health

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: A Planned Parenthood office is seen on November 30, 2015 in New York City. A gunman killed three people November 27, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

TOPEKA, Kan. — Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri sued the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Monday in an ongoing dispute over the state’s revocation of the agency’s license to perform abortions in Columbia, Missouri.

Planned Parenthood released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has filed a lawsuit against Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services after its Acting Director, Peter Lyskowski, announced he would revoke PPKM’s license to perform abortion services by close of business Monday, November 30, 2015, if PPKM does not have a physician with privileges. The lawsuit shows DHSS did not give PPKM’s physician, Dr.Colleen McNicholas, sufficient time to seek alternative privileges needed to continue work at the Columbia health center, or give PPKM enough time to locate another physician.

“Obtaining privileges at a hospital is a tedious, not to mention, medically unnecessary requirement that can take six months, or even more, to fulfill. MU Health Care imposed an impossible timeline for our physician when it terminated Dr. McNicholas’ privileges just more than two months ago,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, Laura McQuade said.

Planned Parenthood found itself in a similar gap in services when its physician resigned in 2012. DHSS maintained PPKM’s license for more than a year, allowing the health care provider time to search for a qualified doctor and submit the required privileging application, a process that took a total of three years.

“It is deeply troubling that we continue to fight MU Health Care’s politically designed obstacle course instigated by Senator Kurt Schaefer. If MU’s Interim Chancellor Hank Foley does not reverse the damage by reinstating privileges, or extending the deadline for ‘refer and follow’ privileges in the coming hours, women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Mid-Missouri ends at 5pm today,” McQuade said.