Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Lack of cooperation by Planned Parenthood officials has resulted in an incomplete report on the investigation of the handling of fetal body parts in the state of Missouri, but lawmakers plan to introduce four new laws that will make life even more difficult than it already is in the state of Missouri for the nation’s largest abortion provider.
A report published in the Missourian by reporters who do little to disguise their bias in favor of Planned Parenthood, say the months-long investigation by two Missouri House committees resulted in calling for new regulation of abortion facilities and increased legislative oversight of abortion providers in the state.
According to the article, the recommendations include:
• More stringent tracking and inspection of aborted fetal tissue, from the abortion clinic to destruction.
• Annual unannounced inspections of all abortion providers in addition to the regularly scheduled yearly inspection.
• Designation of an existing House committee to oversee abortion providers and ensure they are complying with regulations.
• Reallocation of state funding for women's health from Planned Parenthood to other health facilities that don't provide elective abortions. In fiscal year 2015, the state allocated $56,458 to Planned Parenthood .
• Changing the term "products of conception" to "remains of a human fetus" in Missouri law and regulations.
The investigation attempted to determine whether Planned Parenthood sold aborted tissue for profit in Missouri as a result of an undercover sting by pro-life activist David Daleiden which caught officials bartering over the sale of fetal body parts in various locations throughout the country. The Missourian authors erroneously claim that the videos were discredited and cite Monday’s trumped up charges against Daleiden by a Grand Jury in Harris County, Texas as proof that Planned Parenthood is not breaking the law.
To their credit, they do reveal that Planned Parenthood employees refused to respond to requests to testify before the committees, which made it impossible for them to complete their investigation.
"It is inconsiderate to Missourians and a great disappointment that those with the most knowledge on procedures and processes under review put up roadblocks, leaving in the end inconclusive results of the investigated issue," wrote Rep. Diane Franklin, chairwoman of the Children and Families Committee and Rep. Andrew Koenig, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in a letter.
Earlier this month, Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer of the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life recommended contempt charges to be brought against Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region, and James Miller, owner of Pathology Services, Inc. which issues pathology reports for all abortions done at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis abortion facility.
Kogut and Miller were issued subpoenas for documents by the Committee in November but refused to comply.
“I guess there’s something they don’t want us to find out,” Schaefer stated earlier when Planned Parenthood announced their intention not to comply with the subpoena.
But the investigation has already raised many questions about Planned Parenthood operations in the state, including an illegal relationship between Missouri University and Planned Parenthood’s Columbia office that resulted in Planned Parenthood being forced to halt abortions in that facility.
It is also investigating the reason behind over fifty medical emergencies that occurred in the past several years at their St. Louis facility and have subpoenaed medical records related to emergency ambulance transports.
As a result, lawmakers are planning to introduce four new laws to curb any improprieties that may be occurring in abortion facilities in the state.
“We live in an environment where we have a pro-life legislature, so I think it’s very probable that these will go into law,” Koenig said. “If it doesn’t happen this year, it will probably happen next year."
Planned Parenthood’s resistance may be serving their purposes in the short-term, but it already cost them the lucrative profits of abortion activity in one clinic and caused enough concern among lawmakers to cause them to craft new laws that will make life much more difficult for them in the future.
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