A Missouri State Senator is pursuing action by his colleagues to hold a St. Louis Planned Parenthood official in contempt of the Senate.
Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia has filed Senate Resolution 1793, which would formalize contempt proceeding against Mary Kogut, the President of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis. Kogut has refused to honor a subpoena to appear before a special Senate committee that Schaeffer chairs, the Senate Sanctity of Human Life Committee.
That committee was convened last summer to investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood officials were engaged in the illegal trafficking of the organs and body parts of aborted preborn children.
A national group called The Center for Medical Progress released a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood employees or contractors discussing in callous terms the sale and shipment of baby body parts.
In the very first video, the senior medical director of the national Planned Parenthood Federation stated that the St. Louis area was “an untapped supplier” of baby body parts.
Kogut has refused to appear before the Sanctity of Human Life Committee to discuss how the St. Louis abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood disposes of the fetal remains of unborn children who have been aborted.
The Senate Committee has already learned that a St. Louis pathology company hired by Planned Parenthood to analyze “a representative sample”of fetal tissue from each abortion had repeatedly failed to file required reports with state health officials.
In that vein, Senator Schaefer has also filed Senate Resolution 1794 calling for the Senate to enforce a subpoena against Dr. James Miller, the head of Pathology Services of St. Louis.
The resolutions call for Kogut and Miller to appear before the Senate committee at 10 AM on August 18th to explain their decision to defy the Senate subpoenas. Under Senate rules, the Senate sergeant-at-arms can compel Kogut and Miller to appear should they choose not to show up voluntarily.
The Missouri Constitution authorizes the Senate to take action independent of the judicial system to impose penalties against those who demonstrate “contemptuous behavior” in regard to official Senate action. The Senate can impose a $300 fine, 10 days in jail, or both.
Spokesmen for Planned Parenthood insist that they are complying with all state laws regulating abortion clinics. Yet the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has failed to inspect the Planned Parenthood clinic in eight of the last 16 years, as required by the code of state regulations.
In related news on the federal level, a Congressional committee is issuing new subpoenas to a California biotech firm that was identified in the undercover videos as a leading purchaser of baby body parts.
Officials at StemExpress and other medical research companies have ignored previous subpoenas, or withheld information requested by the House Select Investigative Committee on Infant Lives.
Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, bragged in one of the videos that her company was buying “a lot of” fully intact aborted children from Planned Parenthood.
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, the chairwoman of the House panel, says she is disturbed by the continuing intransigence of companies like StemExpress.
“We are working in a thoughtful and thorough manner to find the facts out about what exactly is going on at these abortion businesses and procurement organizations.”
“There should be no resistance to letting the facts come out,” Blackburn observed. “But some abortion supporters seem to be clearly rattled with basic facts coming to light.”
Back in Missouri, bills are awaiting debate in both the Missouri House and Senate which would further tighten Missouri laws prohibiting the harvesting and trafficking of fetal tissue from unborn children.