The St. Louis Planned Parenthood in Missouri has developed a terrible reputation for patient safety, sending at least 65 patients to the hospital for abortion complications since 2009, according to data compiled by pro-lifers.
This and other concerns prompted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and state lawmakers to work on legislation this summer to protect patients at abortion facilities. One measure would punish abortion facilities if they ask ambulance teams to show up without lights or sirens. Another part of the bill would require annual health inspections at abortion facilities and new safety policies when patients experience emergency complications.
Abortion activists in the state already are complaining, according to Breitbart. NARAL, a radical pro-abortion group that lobbies for abortion for any reason up to birth, slammed the bill Friday in a statement.
“This language has nothing [to do] with the health and safety of women,” Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, told the AP. “It has everything to do with trying to trap providers as a way to trip them up, and shut down clinics that way.”
The ambulance response section of the bill has abortion activists particularly upset, according to Breitbart. In essence, the bill would make it more difficult for abortion facilities to hide abortion complications that send women to the hospital. The bill would punish abortion staff with a misdemeanor, punishable by a $2,000 fine or up to a year in prison if they interfere with an ambulance crew’s job.
Here’s more from the AP:
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and other supporters say the plan would protect women’s health. They argue the state needs to ensure that the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis – currently the only licensed abortion provider in Missouri – doesn’t ask ambulance workers to use certain building entrances or to turn off emergency lights as a way to avoid attention from anti-abortion activists who regularly protest outside.
In June, Greitens said: “If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn’t be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly – to not use their lights and sirens – or to go around to the back gate, just because they are worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad.”
Leaders of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood affiliate admitted that they sometimes asked ambulance crews not to turn on their sirens, but they claimed their reason was because they did not want to alarm people.
St. Louis Planned Parenthood leader Mary Kogut told the AP that they changed their policy and now do not ask ambulance crews to turn off their sirens. She also criticized the proposed legislation.
“If any of the governor’s proposals improved health and safety for our patients, we would be the first in line to endorse them,” Kogut told AP. “Regrettably, the governor seems more interested in creating additional unnecessary restrictions against abortion providers and patients.”
The abortion industry regularly fights against laws that require them to meet basic health and safety standards. Last year, a Texas-based abortion chain won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court when it overturned a state law that required abortion facilities to meet standards similar to outpatient surgical facilities.
Then in April, a federal judge granted Planned Parenthood’s request to block Missouri abortion clinic regulations, arguing that they hurt women’s access to abortion. The laws required abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergency situations, and abortion facilities to meet standards similar to other ambulatory surgical facilities.
Greitens and state lawmakers proposed the new legislation this summer in response to the judge’s ruling.
The Planned Parenthood in St. Louis currently is the only abortion facility in the state. It has developed a terrible reputation, sending at least 65 women to the hospital in ambulances since 2009, according to data complied by Operation Rescue. State inspection reports between 2009 and 2016 also reported more than 200 health and safety violations that endangered women’s health.