In Missouri, Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) asked Senior Services Director, Gail Vasterling, to disclose which hospital gives the Columbia Planned Parenthood hospital-admitting privileges. On August 12th, Sen. Schaefer asked the question during a committee hearing investigating the abortion company’s activities in the state.
However, Vasterling refused to provide the hospital’s name even though abortion facilities are required to have admitting privileges under state law. In fact, in Missouri, it is a Class A misdemeanor for a doctor to perform an abortion without such privileges. ABC News reports that Sen. Schaefer will hold Vasterling in contempt if she doesn’t release the name of the hospital by August 21st. Later Sen. Schaefer said that Vasterling could face a fine or up to ten days in jail if she refuses to cooperate. He also said he could ask the courts to get involved.
Sen. Schaefer is leading the investigation into Planned Parenthood in light of revelations about their organ harvesting business but abortion activists are accusing him of going after the organization for “political reasons.” In response to that accusation, Sen. Schaefer said, ”Anyone who says that exposing what’s in that video, which is abhorrent on a moral and legal level [on any level], to say that somehow bringing that to the attention of the public, that baby parts, lungs, heads, hearts are being harvested for profit, to say that’s somehow politicizing it, that is sickening.”
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University of Missouri Health Care and Boone Hospital Center are the only hospitals that qualify under state law to provide privileges for the Columbia clinic. And while Vasterling deferred, MU Health Care spokeswoman Mary Jenkins said Friday that the doctor, Colleen McNicholas of St. Louis, was granted “refer and follow” privileges in December.
McNicholas has not been granted any privileges at Boone Hospital, spokeswoman Madison Burke said.
Any physician working in the community can apply for varying levels of privileges at MU, Jenkins said in an email. For McNicholas, the privileges granted allow her to refer patients to the hospital and review their medical records, she wrote.
“Refer and follow privileges are limited and do not allow the physician to admit patients to MU Health Care facilities or to write orders, prescribe treatment or perform procedures for patients at any MU Health Care facility,” Jenkins wrote.
Vasterling appeared before the committee under a subpoena that also demanded all the records relating to the license, dated July 15, for the Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic to resume performing abortions. Vasterling said the department only provided documents that are public under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
In July, The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released undercover footage showing Planned Parenthood’s top executives haggling over the price of aborted babies’ body parts, admitting to altering abortion procedures to procure salable organs and casually discussing ways their doctors can “crush” unborn babies to obtain fully intact parts.
Additionally, a sixth video was released by CMP that features former Stem Express phlebotomist Holly O’Donnell. In the new video, O’Donnell explains how Planned Parenthood worked with Stem Express to procure fetal body parts and pressured patients into “donating” their aborted babies to research. O’Donnell also mentioned that sometimes Planned Parenthood employee’s harvested aborted babies’ organs without their patients consent.
As LifeNews previously reported, there is specific concern in Missouri about Planned Parenthood’s business because the latest video mentions St. Louis as a possible location to obtain aborted babies. Unbelievably, when Vasterling was asked about Planned Parenthood’s participation in organ harvesting in the state, she admitted that she didn’t know.
Watch the news clip below to hear Vasterling’s exchange with Sen. Schaefer in the committee hearing.