Access to abortions in Missouri just got tougher.
The University of Missouri Hospital's governing committee announced it will no longer grant hospital privileges to the only doctor providing abortion services for Planned Parenthood in Columbia.
"Our initial reaction was shock and then anger," said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Under state law, doctors can only perform abortions if they have refer and fellow privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortions are taking place. In the mid-Missouri region, only two hospitals comply with the law-- University of Missouri Hospital and Boone County Hospital.
According to a press release from the university, MU Health Care policies were placed under review after inquiries from state lawmakers and the public. The board then decided refer and follow privileges were "outdated and unnecessary."
"The law in the State of Missouri says public funds shall not be used to promote or support abortion," said state senator Kurt Schaefer, (R)- Columbia. "In this circumstance they were wrong to recruit that doctor and enable abortions to resume at the facility."
The university's decision goes into effect Dec. 1, women seeking abortion services will have to drive to St. Louis or cross the state border and go to Overland Park, Kan.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .