Missouri Appeals Judge’s Order Stopping State From Closing Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 28, 2016   |   5:13PM   |   Jefferson City, MO

Missouri state officials took several steps forward this week to crack down on state abortion clinics.

On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office filed an appeal against a judge’s order that blocked the state from taking away the license of a Columbia Planned Parenthood, KCUR reports.

The Columbia abortion clinic was set to lose its license to do abortions in December after its abortion doctor, Colleen McNicholas, had her “refer and follow” hospital admitting privileges revoked by the University of Missouri Health Care, LifeNews previously reported. Missouri state law requires that abortion clinics employ doctors with certain hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility.

However, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey blocked the state from taking action last month, allowing the abortion clinic to stay open while it searches for a new abortion doctor who can comply with the law, according to the AP.

In addition this week, two state House committees released a report on their investigation of Planned Parenthoods in Missouri, prompted by a series of undercover videos that caught employees of the national abortion business selling aborted babies’ body parts.

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The Missouri House committees recommended new regulations and increased legislative oversight of abortion facilities in the report released Wednesday, the Columbia Missourian reports.

The state Ways and Means and the Children and Families committees recommended:

  • 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.

A letter signed by the chairs of the two committees noted that the report was incomplete because Planned Parenthood employees in Missouri did not cooperate with the investigation, the report states.

“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,” state Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, and state Rep. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, wrote in the letter.

The abortion chain’s employees also failed to respond to a Missouri Senate committee subpoena to testify and provide documents, LifeNews reported earlier this month. 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.

Missouri state officials began investigating the Planned Parenthood abortion business after the Center for Medical Progress released the first of its shocking videos last summer. The investigation already has revealed a relationship between Planned Parenthood and the University of Michigan.

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-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,” Schaefer wrote in a letter to former University 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.

In November, Schaefer received death threats that he believes are related to his investigation of Planned Parenthood and its connection to the university, LifeNews recently reported.