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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A St. Louis judge ruled on Friday to temporarily block Missouri from preventing the state's only Planned Parenthood from performing abortions, reports NBC, keeping the clinic open through next Tuesday.

Why it matters: Had Planned Parenthood failed to win a temporary restraining order, Missouri would have been the first state since 1973 — when the Roe v. Wade ruling was made —without a single abortion clinic, per NBC. The solo Planned Parenthood was set to cease all abortion operations at midnight on Friday. However, the block is only in place until a resolution can be reached at a hearing next Tuesday.

"We could face a situation tomorrow where 1.1 million women of reproductive age in Missouri will no longer be able to access abortion care, which is essential health care, in their own state,"
— Dr. Leana Wen, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America told MSNBC

The backdrop: Missouri has waged an aggressive battle against abortion, banning the precedure after 8 weeks last week. Planned Parenthood argues that the state's health department "is refusing to renew" its St. Louis clinic's license in an attempt to shut it down.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
11 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.