Missouri is America's first abortion-free state without an operational abortion facility according to a report on Monday, Jan. 11.
Life News said that the Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in Missouri, though open and licensed to conduct abortions, is non-operational. Being the only one in the State, Missouri now is the only abortion-facility free state in the U.S.
"There is no operational abortion facility in the State of Missouri, making it the first Abortion-Free State at this time," confirmed Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
Life News said the facility is "apparently choosing not" to conduct abortions due to the "strong pro-life laws" of Missouri and instead refers clients to a nearby state where facilities--such as the Illinois' Fairview Heights Planned Parenthood facility--are already open for operation amidst the pandemic.
"It is obvious that Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region," Newman explained, "seeks to avoid having to comply with Missouri's strong pro-life laws, and has opted to abort in Illinois where abortion facilities are essentially unaccountable."
Newman added that avoiding to comply to the pro-life laws is "a gross disrespect for the lives and safety of the women Planned Parenthood purports to serve."
Life News explained that in May 2020 the Missouri facility had a legal battle on the renewal of its license since it was found to be conducting "several cases of life-threatening abortion injuries" that the state's Department of Health and Senior Services were able to document.
The Department, however, encountered difficulty in its investigation due to the non-cooperation of the facilities' personnel and experienced disappointment when the Administrative Court Judge ruled in favor of the facility by granting them their new license.
It was after this that the facility itself volunteered to halt its operations "due to an unwillingness to comply with Missouri laws regulating the drugs."
Data from Operation Rescue show that there are 706 abortion facilities in the U.S., 45 of which have closed or halted operation in 2020. Life News said this translates to "79% of all clinics open in 1991 have shut down" as of date.
Operation Rescue, which conducts an annual survey of abortion facilities in the U.S., also revealed that data compiled for Nov. 16-Dec. 16, 2020 show that the pandemic has gravely affected abortion rates due to facilities halting or minimizing operations because doctors can't come due to lockdowns.
Live News cited, as an example, the South Dakota's Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood facility that temporarily stopped aborting babies in April due to the pandemic and opened months afterwards to a once-a-month operation only instead of four times a month.
The cutdown in operations and closing of facilities resulted to a net loss of four abortion clinics in the U.S. for 2020, while 69% of locations currently operate abortion programs via telemedicine.
The 2020 survey of Operation Rescue also showed that there was a 255 decrease in the number of surgical abortion facilities since 2009 or a 36% decrease in the last ten years.
Meanwhile, an increase by 47.2% of abortion pill facilities have occurred for the same time period since 2009 such that there are 248 facilities "248 facilities that abort only using chemical means" in the U.S. by end of 2020.