The Planned Parenthood Center in Columbia has announced it will resume medically induced abortions at its local clinic.
The Columbia clinic stopped offering abortion service three years ago when its physician went on active duty. Laura McQuade, CEO of the regional branch of Planned Parenthood said a new physician will start offering medically induced abortions in August, and the center hopes to restore surgical abortion services in 2016.
McQuade said these service are particularly important now that Missouri requires a 72-hour waiting period for women between their initial doctor’s visit and their abortion procedure. Currently, the only clinic in Missouri that provides abortions is located in St. Louis.
“Women have to make two trips to the provider, and having something much closer to home I think will make an important difference in their access to this critical service,” she said.
Another important change for Planned Parenthood regionally was also announced. Coventry Health Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri are now on the list of accepted insurance providers. Coventry Health Care provides insurance for students and staff of the University of Missouri, among others.
McQuade said this means more people will have access to Planned Parenthood’s reproductive health services.
“Reproductive healthcare services are not as available as primary care services,” she said. “So having another option for people to receive high quality health care through their insurance program is a really important expansion and a benefit to the community.”