A preliminary report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows that abortions in Missouri dramatically dropped over 2018 as the state’s only abortion facility, Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis, struggled to maintain its abortion license after a spate of botched abortions.
The report, which was submitted to the state legislature in compliance with reporting regulations, showed that from January 1 through November 15, 2019, 1,354 abortions were conducted in Missouri by RHS Planned Parenthood.
The preliminary number represents a 78 percent decrease over the 2018 totals, when 6,125 abortions took place at three abortion facilities in Missouri, according to state abortion statistics kept by the DHSS.
A abortion pill clinic in Kansas City and a surgical abortion facility in Columbia — affiliates of Planned Parenthood — both halted abortions in 2018, and did no abortions in 2019.
“Missouri has had tremendous success reducing abortions, closing abortion facilities, and preventing a planned expansion of abortions into additional communities,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Their laws and willingness to enforce them has protected thousands of women from harm and saved countless innocent lives. Other states should look to Missouri as an example.”
Abortions by type
Of the 1,354 abortions done at the RHS Planned Parenthood in 2019, 1,040 were surgical suction curettage procedures, which are done in the first trimester of pregnancy.
There were 307 of the more dangerous Laminaria Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) dismemberment procedures that are typically done in the second trimester of pregnancy and beyond.
The number of abortions done using abortion-inducing drugs fell from 2,529 in 2018 to just six in 2019. That is because RHS Planned Parenthood abortionists refused to comply with a Missouri law that requires a pelvic exam prior to dispensing abortion drugs to women in order to detect any contraindications, such as an ectopic pregnancy. Instead, Planned Parenthood of the Greater St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, which operates RHS Planned Parenthood, transferred its medical abortion business to an office in a Belleville, Illinois, strip mall and referred the vast majority of medical abortions there.
In October 2019, a new Planned Parenthood surgical facility that also dispenses abortion drugs opened in Fairview Heights, Illinois, resulting in the closure of the Belleville strip mall location.
There were 83 reported abortion complications noted in the preliminary report. Of those, 17 took place at RHS Planned Parenthood and 66 took place at out-of-state facilities or unknown locations.
There was a total of 53 medical abortion complications – 51 of which took place at out-of-state facilities, while 23 surgical abortion complications were recorded in 2019.
“We have long understood that abortion drugs are more dangerous than surgical abortions and carry a higher complication rate,” said Newman. “The national trend in liberal states that allows abortion pills to be distributed through webcams, or smart phones, or non-physicians is ill-advised. We are thankful that Missouri has taken steps to protect the public from these hazards to life and health.”
Since the preliminary report was compiled, there has been one more medical emergency at RHS Planned Parenthood in St. Louis that required emergency ambulance transport to a hospital emergency room. That incident took place on November 21, 2019.
Then, on December 19, 2019, an ambulance was called to Planned Parenthood’s new Fairview Heights abortion facility for a woman who was bleeding so much that it could not be controlled by Planned Parenthood staff — the same staff that also does abortions at the St. Louis facility where there is documentation for 75 women that have been transported by ambulance for emergency care.
Failed inspections and complaints
Missouri also recorded that four on-site inspections took place at RHS Planned Parenthood in 2019, with twelve deficiencies cited and no corrections done.
The deficiencies, which included botched or incomplete abortions on at least four women, were the basis for the DHSS decision to revoke RHS Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion license last year. Planned Parenthood had refused to cooperate with the DHSS investigation into the harm it inflicted on women. Planned Parenthood appealed the revocation. A decision by an Administrative Court, which heard the licensing dispute, is expected next month.
In addition, seven complaints were lodged against the Planned Parenthood abortion facility.
“We are very interested to see the final Missouri abortion statistics for 2019, but until then, the preliminary report shows that pro-life activism, together with good laws and a willingness to enforce those laws, literally saves lives. It also shows that abortion is not safe, and the abortion pills are more dangerous than Planned Parenthood wants anyone to believe,” said Newman. “We pray that the decision to revoke RHS Planned Parenthood’s abortion license will be upheld and that Missouri will become the first state without an active abortion facility since abortion was decriminalized in 1973.”