It’s getting difficult to count how many times the mainstream media runs Planned Parenthood’s talking points without fact checking them.
The latest example is the misleading claim that Missouri Department of Health officials somehow violated women’s privacy by tracking their periods during an investigation of Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis abortion facility.
Missouri health officials moved to revoke the abortion facility’s license earlier this year after state health officials said Planned Parenthood put women’s lives at risk in at least four botched abortions and subjected one woman to as many as five procedures to complete her abortion.
Planned Parenthood sued to block the move, and last week, health officials testified in front of a state commissioner about why the license should be revoked. In the midst of their testimony, abortion activists began spreading the propaganda that state health officials were tracking women’s periods in violation of their privacy.
As hearings related to the lawsuit commenced, numerous misleading headlines emerged, accusing state health director Dr. Randall Williams of tracking the periods of Planned Parenthood patients. The claim was that the state was fixating on the last menstrual periods of the women who visited the Missouri abortion clinic, heavily implying that the information was being used for some perverted purpose. But the state health director merely pulled the medical records of patients as he investigated Planned Parenthood, and the spreadsheet containing abortion patient information also included records of gestational ages and abortion procedure dates.
The LMP dates were just one of many terms on a spreadsheet that didn’t even include patients’ names. The media’s claim that the government is controlling women through “period-tracking” paints an incredibly dishonest picture of the situation. As health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox explained, the LMP data were merely cross-referenced with abortion dates in order to obtain an accurate count of the number of abortions the clinic had performed. The data was also pulled from information Planned Parenthood had already provided, so it wasn’t as if this was newly sought out.
Moreover, the information that state officials reviewed helped them discover that at least four patients had returned to the facility on multiple occasions to complete the same surgical abortion.
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The state did not violate any HIPAA laws. Its officials conducted their investigation to help protect women.
Williams responded to the attacks last week by accusing Planned Parenthood of trying to vilify his agency for doing its job, Courthouse News reports. He said his department’s decision to revoke the abortion facility’s license was based on serious concerns about patient safety, not a political agenda.
The department also provided evidence from both staff and sworn testimony showing that the allegations about tracking women’s menstrual cycles were incorrect, and the state did not compromise women’s privacy during its investigation, The Missouri Times reports.
The St. Louis Planned Parenthood broke the law and then blamed state health officials for holding it accountable for women’s health and safety, state pro-life leaders said last week.
“The spectacle created by those who support abortion is shameful,” said Susan Klein, executive director of Missouri Right to Life. “Women’s lives were put at risk, and the law was broken at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood. No one and no healthcare facility is above the law.”
Pro-life advocates have documented at least 72 occasions when ambulances were called to the abortion facility for women with abortion complications. Williams said previously they found 30 deficiencies at the abortion facility, and Planned Parenthood only provided a plan to correct four, ABC News reports.