Missouri state lawmakers concluded their investigation of Planned Parenthood last week with a lot of unanswered questions.
A Missouri state Senate committee began investigating the abortion business after the Center for Medical Progress released the first of its shocking undercover videos last summer. St. Louis, Missouri was mentioned in one undercover video as a possible location to obtain aborted baby body parts for research.
However, the state Senate committee faced an uphill battle. Planned Parenthood in Missouri and its supporters hindered the investigation by not replying to government subpoenas for information. Upon threat of jail time and fines, Planned Parenthood officials finally negotiated a deal to comply with the subpoena.
However, a pathologist who contracts with Planned Parenthood in Missouri and also was subpoenaed refused to provide materials for the investigation and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.
As a result, The Daily Caller reports the committee still does not know what happened to some of the aborted babies’ body parts after Planned Parenthood and pathologist James Miller handled them.
The committee was able to obtain some documents related to Miller’s work. These documents have left some legislators wondering if aborted babies’ parts were being sold in Missouri. According to the report:
Some of the committee’s findings revealed that some fetal parts went missing without explanation. In over 300 reports the committee surveyed, pathologist Dr. Miller categorized the aborted babies as either “no fetal tissue identifiable” or as “fetal tissue is identifiable”after eight weeks of gestation. Four reports did not follow this system and show that aborted babies from 9-20 weeks of gestation were labeled as “no fetal parts identified.”
“The pathologist who the tissue is sent to pleaded the Fifth Amendment due to not wanting to have criminal self-incrimination, so that certainly raises a flag because it makes you wonder if some of the incomplete records suggest that perhaps this pathologist was selling these baby body parts. We really don’t know,” Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The investigation also revealed that abortion clinics sometimes sent entire aborted babies’ bodies to the pathology lab, rather than a tissue sample of the aborted baby, as is required by law.
When the committee released its investigation report last week, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer said the committee also found “callous” practices and procedures at Planned Parenthood facilities in Missouri. He said these potentially illegal practices and serious deficiencies “bordered on outright medical malpractice.”
Here’s more from The Missouri Times:
Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, noted that after a year of investigations and inquiries, there were still ambiguities in what had actually occurred.
“What is clear is there are many things that are unclear,” Schmitt said. “All sort of things point to this pathologist … and the pathologist does nothing but plead the Fifth Amendment… It’s his constitutional right to do so, but it certainly leaves a lot of unanswered questions.”
… The senators also alleged the use of digoxin, which can cause cardiac arrest in large enough doses, as a way to skirt the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act,” problems with informed consent forms given to abortion recipients at Planned Parenthood, and that Planned Parenthood’s protocols could “inhibit timely response by emergency medical services” as causes for concern.
State Sen. Bob Onder, who also is a surgeon, previously said the investigation revealed a series of “red flags” that should have been investigated.
“This inattention to detail demonstrates a startling level of recklessness by the medical staff at Planned Parenthood who should have immediately noticed this anomaly,” Onder said.
Planned Parenthood leaders in Missouri dismissed the investigation and its findings as nothing more than a politically-motivated “attack,” according to the local news.
Last year, the investigation also revealed a relationship between Planned Parenthood and the University of Missouri, which receives taxpayer funding.