Someone threw rocks through a window of a Planned Parenthood health center in St. Louis on Saturday. Police are investigating but have not released details on the incident, clinic officials said.
Planned Parenthood’s South Grand Health Center has operated since the 1970s, providing birth control, cancer screenings, well woman and well man exams, STD testing and treatment, and emergency contraception. The center does not provide abortion care.
“The center was closed at the time of the attack,” Mary M. Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said in a statement. “The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is always our number one priority. We are working with our security and operations staff to make sure we open safely on Monday morning. Our doors stay open—no matter what.”
Kogut said that police had detained a woman in connection with the incident.
The attack comes at a time when many Planned Parenthood affiliates are tightening security. The health-care organization has faced an uptick in attacks since release of a series of surreptitiously recorded and highly edited videos published by an anti-choice front group known as the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). CMP officials have coordinated with Republican legislators in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood.
An independent abortion clinic in neighboring Kentucky faced similar attacks last month. That facility, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, is the state’s last full-time abortion clinic.
“This year has been one that’s been filled with a lot of hateful and vile rhetoric, and I think that’s creating a violent opposition to Planned Parenthood and to health care providers, and it needs to stop,” Kogut told CBS News.
Missouri’s Republican-dominated legislature has passed some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws in recent years, which has left the state with a single remaining abortion clinic. One state GOP lawmaker has said a University of Missouri doctoral student should not be allowed to do research on the Republican-backed forced 72-hour waiting period for patients seeking abortion care.