Planned Parenthood plans to protest bill

Friday, July 13, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:06 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Planned Parenthood volunteers and activists are protesting the recent signing of Missouri House Bill 1055, which would limit surgical abortion services available in Columbia unless significant upgrades are made to the facility.

New estimates put the project’s price tag at $1.5 million to $2 million, said Michelle Trupiano, public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

The protestors will be at the corner of Providence Road and Broadway from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. today, equipped with signs and chanting in support of Planned Parenthood, Trupiano said.

Gov. Matt Blunt signed the bill last week, which will go into effect Aug. 28 and leave the St. Louis branch of Planned Parenthood the only center in Missouri that can perform surgical abortions unless other facilities upgrade to become ambulatory surgical centers.

The bill changes the definition of an ambulatory surgical center to include facilities that perform second- and third-trimester abortions in addition to at least five first-trimester abortions each month.

Planned Parenthood is considering the necessary renovations to its Columbia branch to become classified as an ambulatory surgical center, as well as legal action, Trupiano said.

Planned Parenthood is expected to make a decision by Aug. 28.

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