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Planned Parenthood-Missouri

Andrew Ward (left) and Bill Pauls discuss their positions on abortion during a rally across the street from the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, Mo., in July 2015. (Don Shrubshell/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)

COLUMBIA, MO. • The University of Missouri and Planned Parenthood have ended their 26-year relationship after state lawmakers started investigating abortions performed at the organization’s clinics.

Within the past month, university officials cancelled 10 contracts with Planned Parenthood clinics in four states where students could complete clinical hours.

University of Missouri Health System spokeswoman Mary Jenkins told the Columbia Missourian that nursing and medical students were never required to work at a Planned Parenthood clinic, but it was an optional rotation.

In July, former Senate leader Tom Dempsey formed the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life in response to videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood staff selling aborted tissue. The committee’s goal is to determine how clinics in Missouri dispose of aborted issue, whether any state funding has been used to facilitate abortions and whether the health care provide has broken any state laws, according to the Missouri Senate website.

The decades-long relationship between the University of Missouri and Planned Parenthood has come into question over the course of the committee’s investigation.

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