Planned Parenthood Leader Faces Jail for Stonewalling Investigation of Sales of Aborted Baby Parts

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 5, 2016   |   7:44PM   |   Jefferson City, MO

A Missouri Planned Parenthood official is in hot water after she failed to respond to a Missouri Senate subpoena to testify and provide documents for an investigation of the abortion giant.

As a result, Mary Kogut, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, could face jail time and fines for not answering the legal order, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Also facing possible jail time and fines is James Miller, the owner of a pathology lab that contracts with the abortion business, the report states.

In November, the Missouri Senate issued subpoenas to Miller and Kogut for documents and witnesses to appear in front of the Senate committee that is investigating whether the abortion giant is illegally selling aborted babies’ body parts.

Oddly, Miller did testify in front of a state House committee that is investigating the same thing, according to the report. The state investigations were prompted by a series of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing top Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

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The news report continues:

Planned Parenthood has questioned the validity of both the Senate committee and its subpoena power, as well as voiced concern that the documents requested would violate patient confidentiality laws.

Because they did not comply with the subpoena, Republican senators on the committee recommended in its year-end report that the Senate “initiate contempt proceedings.”

To do this, a senator must file a resolution outlining the nature of the contempt, which would have to be approved by the full senate. If approved, Kogut and Miller could face up to 10 days in jail or a $300 fine — or both.

Committee members also recommend the Senate continue investigating Planned Parenthood during the 4-1/2 month-long session that begins Wednesday.

“Many questions remain unanswered” because the committee didn’t hear from Miller or the abortion and health care provider, the report stated

Two Democrats on the committee, Sens. Maria Chappelle and Jill Schupp, did not sign the report, according to the Post-Dispatch.

Some of the requested documents include any abortion incidents that required an ambulance and written protocols for performing abortions, according to the Associated Press.

The abortion chain responded with a letter from its attorney, citing privacy concerns and questioning the Missouri Senate’s authority to subpoena private organizations, the AP reports. Though Planned Parenthood is not a government organization, most of its state abortion affiliates receive government money.

Kogut also said in a statement that while the Planned Parenthood chapter disputes the authority of the subpoena, “we have told the Committee we are willing to discuss how we might provide documentation relevant to a legitimate legislative inquiry as we did with the Attorney General.” She also denied that her abortion centers are breaking any laws.

Meanwhile, some Missouri state lawmakers are working to ensure that the state has more oversight of abortion facilities and their handling of aborted babies’ bodies.

In December, Missouri Sen. Bob Onder announced plans to introduce a bill, Senate Bill 644, that would require annual, unannounced inspections of abortion clinics and would ban the donation of aborted babies’ body parts. It also would require that abortion facilities send all of the tissue from abortions, including babies’ body parts, to a pathologist after the abortion, the report states. Current state law requires that only a sample of the tissue be sent.

In November, the state investigation revealed a relationship between Planned Parenthood and the University of Missouri. State Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia discovered a “research study” being conducted by the university which assists Planned Parenthood in marketing its “abortion services,” according to Joe Orthweth of the Missouri Family Policy Council.

The study is being undertaken with university funding at the Reproductive Health Services abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis City. The purpose of the study, under the auspices of the University’s School of Social Work, is to examine the impact of a recently adopted Missouri law requiring a 72-hour period for abortions.

“It is difficult to understand how a research study approved by the University, conducted by a University student, and overseen by the Director of Social Work, can be perceived as anything but an expenditure of public funds to aid Planned Parenthood…in violation of Missouri law,” Schaeffer wrote in a letter to University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. Missouri law expressly prohibits the use of state employees, state facilities, or state funds to assist in the performance of elective abortions.

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LifeNews reported that Schaeffer’s office later received a death threat, which he believes was linked to his leadership of the abortion investigation.