Search Results for: St. Louis Fire Department

St. Louis Fire Department Settles Suit, Reveals Details of 58 Medical Emergencies at Planned Parenthood

Data shows third trimester abortions are being done at what is considered the most dangerous abortion facility in America.

PPStLFOIA Settlement

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Fire Department has settled a lawsuit brought by Operation Rescue in 2013, which sought to obtain public information related to documented medical emergencies at the Planned Parenthood of Greater St. Louis abortion facility.

Instead of the 31 expected emergencies that required ambulance transport, the St. Louis Fire Department provided Operation Rescue with a list of 58 medical emergencies, categorized by type of problem and priority level that took place at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility between January 1, 2009, and April 16, 2016.

The suit was necessary because the St. Louis Fire Department had refused to comply with the group’s repeated requests for public information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

“We consider this settlement a victory since we were able to obtain a true listing of medical problems that sent women to the hospital from Planned Parenthood. Since Planned Parenthood receives public tax funding, the public has a right to know that women are being hurt there,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The information provided to us shows that the situation is far worse than we originally suspected, and proves that the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility is too dangerous to operate. It should be shut down immediately.”

Of the 58 calls for emergency assistance placed by Planned Parenthood beginning in 2009, there were 50 Urgent Priority 1 emergencies. This would include life-threatening conditions.

By far, hemorrhage of a dangerous or possibly dangerous nature was the most common complication with 23 reported incidents.

Medical problems for which ambulances were dispatched to Planned Parenthood included the following:

• Abdominal Pain – 2 incidents
• Allergic Reaction – 1 incident
• Fainting (Alert and Not Alert) – 6 incidents
• Fall – 4 incidents
• Hemorrhage (Dangerous or Possibly Dangerous) – 23 incidents
• Interfacility Emergency – 4 incidents
• Pregnancy Unknown Status – 2 incidents
• Psychiatric/Suicidal – 3 incidents
• Seizure – 3 incidents
• Sick – 5 incidents
• Stroke – 1 incident
• Unconscious Person – 1 incident

Ambulances were also called for three incidents of serious bleeding, one of which took place in the third trimester of pregnancy, indicating that late-term abortions are being done at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood.

“It is possible that not all of the incidents were abortion-related, but it is clear that the vast majority were abortion complications,” said Newman.

Operation Rescue never sought the identities of women who were hospitalized by the Planned Parenthood abortion facility, which was not equipped to handle the numerous complications.

Not included in the list was a medical emergency that took place at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility on Friday, May 13, 2016. Operation Rescue has placed a public records request for information about this incident.

“We expect that the St. Louis Fire Department will now comply with the law and release the information to us,” said Newman.

View the list provided by the St. Louis Fire Department
View the StLFD Affidavit explaining the list.

Operation Rescue Sues St. Louis Fire Department for Planned Parenthood 911 Records

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – After repeated attempts to obtain public records related to 911 calls made by the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, Operation Rescue has filed suit against the St. Louis Fire Department in order to compel the to comply with state and federal open records laws.

The suit, filed with the assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom on May 30, 2014, is Deborah Myers v. St. Louis Fire Department, case number 1422-CC01250. Myers is an Operation Rescue staff member.

Operation Rescue requested Computer Aided Dispatch Transcripts and audio files for 911 calls placed from Planned Parenthood, which is located at 4251 Forest Avenue in St. Louis, between 2011 and present. No audio files were produced.

Operation Rescue did receive 57 C.A.D transcripts that were so heavily redacted that even the dates of the incidents were removed.

Until receiving the redacted records, Operation Rescue had 25 documented incidents of ambulances transporting women from Planned Parenthood in St. Louis since 2009, but the 57 records produced to Operation Rescue hint that there were many more. This has raised serious concerns about patient safety at Planned Parenthood and has made Operation Rescue more determined than ever to obtain access to obtain the full records.

“Public access to 911 records is unquestioned. Certainly we expect patient identifying information to be redacted, but the St. Louis Fire Department has gone far beyond that,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Information we get from 911 calls has been valuable at revealing the truth about what is going on behind the closed doors of abortion clinics.”

Other 911 records acquired by Operation Rescue in other cities have uncovered the abortion death of Lakisha Wilson in Cleveland and the fact that other abortion clinic were engaged in practices that were in violations of patient care standards. Some have led to discipline of abortionists. In Birmingham, Alabama, complaints filed on the basis of a 911 call led to an inspection that revealed 76 pages of deficiencies that eventually led to the closure of New Women All Women abortion facility.

“There is a public benefit to having access to 911 information. We have used it to protect women from shoddy and dangerous practices that have injured and even killed ladies at abortion facilities around the nation. Without access to this public information, the abortion clinics can continue to exploit women for profit by cutting corners on patient care standards – all under the guise of secrecy,” said Newman. “Abortion clinics have a lot to hide, so it is no wonder that they would want to keep their problems a secret, but is is completely improper for the Fire Department to help them do that.”

The 911 records are not the only indication that the St. Louis Planned Parenthood poses a serious health hazard. A health department deficiency report issued to the St. Louis Planned Parenthood last year, which was obtained by Operation Rescue, revealed violations in the areas of sanitation, infection protocols, drug handling and expired emergency supplies.

The St. Louis Planned Parenthood is the last remaining abortion facility in Missouri. No hearing date in the case has been set.

Example of Unacceptably Redacted 911 CAD Transcript
Myers v. St. Louis Fire Department Petition

Ambulance Transports 64th Patient in Throes of Medical Emergency from St. Louis Planned Parenthood

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The most dangerous abortion facility in America has transported its 64th known patient by ambulance to a local hospital on March 11, 2017.

The high-volume Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, the only abortion facility in Missouri, has a dismal abortion safety record. Fire Department Records and eye-witness accounts show that it uses emergency ambulance transports for patients on average of once every six weeks dating back as far as 2009.

One witness to the most recent March 11 incident told Operation Rescue that lights and sirens announced the ambulance’s arrival at Planned Parenthood around noon. Ten minutes later-paramedics emerged from the abortion facility with a woman on a gurney that was completely “cloaked” while clinic workers deployed tan tarps to prevent pro-life activists from documenting the incident. It left without running lights and sirens.

But as troubling as the flood of patient injuries have been, a lack of basic sanitation also poses a serious health issue at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility. In January, Operation Rescue reported on five Statement of Deficiency Reports that showed Missouri state inspectors have cited the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis for 39 classes of violations involving 210 incidents – 53% (111) of which were related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment. [Read the full report.]

Those Deficiency Reports indicated that from 2013 through 2016, the violations at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion facility have become more numerous and serious, including failure to properly clean the facility or properly sterilize surgical instruments used on patients.

“We are seeing increasingly deteriorating facility conditions, infection control practices, and patient safety issues. I can imagine no other business that would be allowed to endanger the lives and health of its customers to the extent that this Planned Parenthood abortion mill has,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Despite its inability to keep its abortion patients out of the emergency room, Planned Parenthood has sued Missouri with the intent of disposing of important abortion safety laws so it can expand its shoddy services into other Missouri communities.

“Planned Parenthood’s arrogance and attitude that they are above the law in Missouri is contributing to the gross patient dangers in St. Louis,” said Newman. “They act as though abortion laws and patient care standards are for others to follow while the Department of Health looks the other way. This allows Planned Parenthood to continually cut corners on safety and sanitation without fear of any meaningful consequences. People that really care about women don’t callously disrespect, exploit, and endanger them like this.”

Nationwide, safety at Planned Parenthood abortion facilities is no better. Yet, Planned Parenthood continues to receive over $500 million in taxpayer funds each year. America must stop subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s shoddy businesses.

Please contact your Congressman and Senators and demand that they immediately defund Planned Parenthood.

Sample note to your elected representatives:

“Planned Parenthood facilities across America engage in shoddy medical practices as evidenced by a long list of documented medical emergencies there. [Watch video at https://youtu.be/r19sW5VBA-U ]. Since Planned Parenthood can’t keep their patients out of the emergency room, they don’t deserve to be rewarded with our tax money. Please defund Planned Parenthood now.”

Contact your Congressman.
Contact your Senators.

Health Inspections Reports: St. Louis Planned Parenthood ISN’T Safe – or Clean

Over 200 hundred incidents cited for failure to comply with medical health and safety standards.


By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – Operation Rescue has obtained five Statement of Deficiency Reports that show Missouri state inspectors have cited the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, Missouri, for 39 classes of violations involving 210 incidents – 53% (111) of which were related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

The reports were based on inspections that took place in 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2016. Of the 210 incidents upon which the citations were based, 61% were identified in 2016.

“Each year that the St. Louis Planned Parenthood has been inspected, the number of incidents has increased. This is hard evidence that things at Planned Parenthood are getting worse, not better for patients,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “If a restaurant was cited this many times, it would be shut down, but somehow, Planned Parenthood has been allowed to continue placing the lives of women at risk.”

The St. Louis Planned Parenthood is considered a high volume abortion facility. It is estimated that over 5,000 abortions take place there each year. The inspection reports indicated that on average 340-462 abortions were conducted at that facility each month. All patients were potentially impacted by the violations.

“We have long understood that the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion facility was among the worst in America when it comes to abortion-related complications based on the large number of ambulance runs observed there. But now, reading over the inspection reports, we can see the truly horrific extent of dangerous health and safety conditions and practices that endanger women every day there,” said Newman.

The 2009 inspection showed two citations based on six incidents. Two employees that assisted with surgical procedures showed no evidence of training for such duties. The facility also had failed to conduct an adequate number of fire drills between over a four-year period.

It deteriorated from there.

In 2013, Planned Parenthood was cited for 35 incidents, including, but not limited to the following:

• Using single-dose medication vials for multiple patients. Single dose vials contain no preservatives and must be discarded after the needle has pierced the seal.
• Failure to remove expired inventory from active stock. This included items such as IV Solutions, various drugs such as Valium, ammonia inhalants, and other supplies used on patients.
• Failure to date multi-use vials of drugs, leaving no way to know when the drugs should have been discarded.
• Failure to replace worn, rusted, or deteriorating equipment, including suction machines, IV stands, stools, etc. Often the staff attempted to mitigate the rust problem by covering it with clear tape, but that only made things worse since tape cannot be disinfected.
• Ceiling fans in the three procedure rooms and storage room were full of visible dust.
• Plastic supply bins with patient supplies covered with dust and debris.
• Failure to conduct monthly inspections of portable fire extinguishers.
• Quality Assurance program failed to review all abortions that occurred at 18 weeks or later as required.
• Failure to provide patients with information about how to file complaints with state agencies.
• Failure to check job applicants with the Employment Disqualification List prior to hiring.

In 2015, the incidents on which violations were based increased. Thirty-two out of 40 incidents were related to failing to provide a safe, clean environment.

Some of those violations included:

• Failure to restrict multi-dose vials to a centralized medication area separate from patient treatment areas to avoid contamination.
• Failure to date medications and remove those that were expired.
• Failure to monitor humidity in the clean/dirty instrument processing areas, which can affect the integrity of the sterilization and storage processes. There was no humidistat anywhere in the facility.
• Failed to follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and operating the autoclave, an instrument used to sterilize surgical instruments. In fact, no manufacturer’s instructions could be found in the facility, so one staff member finally printed the instructions from the Internet.
• Stored “sterile” instrument sets on unlined shelves near the floor, creating a risk of contamination.
• Two large tears in the pad on the ultrasound table that made it unable to be disinfected. One staff member told the inspector a new pad had been ordered when no order was ever placed.
• Expired supplies such as hand sanitizer and Tempa-Dot thermometers used in the medication refrigerator.
• Pillows in the procedure and ultrasound rooms were dirty and covered with torn vinyl or cloth pillow covers that could not be disinfected.
• Dust, dirt, and unsanitary tape residue found throughout the facility, including on the medication refrigerator, shelves, cabinets, storage bins and walls.
• Medication refrigerator had dirt, debris and hair in the bottom of the unit. One worker who had been employed at the facility for 1 ½ years said the refrigerator had never been cleaned during his term of employment.
• A wheelchair that was described as “often used” was covered with a layer of dust that left a mark when a finger was pulled through.
• Failure to submit a copy of the pathology reports for all aborted fetal tissue to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as legally required.

At no time in 2013, 2014, or 2015 did the Department of Health send inspectors back to Planned Parenthood to ensure that the deficiencies cited were actually corrected.

That changed in 2016, after Planned Parenthood was cited for 16 categories of violations involving 127 incidents on March 16 of that year. Some violations were repeat offenses, such as the discovery of dust and dirt that posed contamination issues, failing to remove expired medications and supplies from inventory, and failing to replace worn or deteriorating patient care items.

In one egregious example, Planned Parenthood was cited in both 2015 and 2016 for failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the facility’s two autoclaves (sterilizers). The inside of the autoclaves was discolored with brown spots. Biological indicators that were supposed to be used with each load to ensure proper sterilization were only used weekly. Peel packs, in which surgical instruments were “sterilized” were folded over beyond the recommended line, compromising the sterilization process. The supply cabinets were full of such improperly sealed peal packs of instruments that were being used on patients.

Planned Parenthood had also failed to halt the hazardous practice of keeping multi-use drug vials in the procedure rooms, which risks cross-contamination.

In addition to the instrument sterilizations violations, the chronic sanitation and cross-contamination issues, and the drug handling problems, Planned Parenthood was cited in March 2016, for some of the following:

• Failure to properly record temperatures on the medication refrigerator, or recording temperatures outside the recommended ranges. Some medications were not supposed to be frozen, but freezing temperatures were recorded numerous times, without correction.
• Failure to check potential hires with the Employment Disqualification List prior to hiring or conduct criminal background checks. (Repeat offense.)
• Failure to provide infection control training to staff.
• Failure to have staff and volunteers sign an annual statement of HIPAA compliance.
• Failure to ensure that medication orders were timed, dated, and signed by the ordering practitioner. This failure occurred time after time in 11 of 13 patient files reviewed. Some charts lacked dosages of drugs that were administered. In the event of an emergency, a patient’s life can be endangered if emergency responders do not know when or how much of a particular drug has been administered.
• Failure for providers to sign date or time medical records.
• Failure to ensure that patients were fully reactive with stable vital signs before discharge. Charts showed vital signs were not taken every 15 minutes in recovery as required. Patients were discharged without a record of discharge vital signs or Aldrete scores (a medical scoring system used for measuring recovery after anesthesia).

For the first time, inspectors returned to Planned Parenthood two months later to ensure the facility was in compliance. Once again, it was found that a new hire had not been checked with the Employment Disqualification list prior to hiring, nor was a criminal background check performed.

“Just because Planned Parenthood cleaned up their act for the follow up inspection does not mean that it is safe. Certainly, the frequency of medical emergencies never abated,” said Newman. “We know from our years of studying the documented behavior of abortion facilities that as soon as inspectors leave, workers often fall back into their old slovenly habits.”

It is easy to see why Planned Parenthood has actively opposed Missouri’s attempts to pass mandatory annual inspections for abortion facilities.

Records obtained from the St. Louis Fire Department and eye-witness documentation show that 63 medical emergencies have occurred at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility during the same time frame as reflected in the inspection reports. In 2016 alone, when violations were at their peak, there were six incidents that required emergency ambulance transport to a hospital emergency room.

Despite the dangers to women, certain aldermen are attempting to make St. Louis a “Sanctuary City for Reproductive Rights.” There is currently an attempt underway to amend the city charter to make pregnancy and “reproductive decisions” a protected class along with race. There are also future plans to pass a buffer zone ordinance restricting free speech rights around the Planned Parenthood facility. Those action will only serve to infringe on the First Amendment rights of pro-life activists and create greater unaccountability at an already dangerous abortion center.

Last month, Planned Parenthood sued the State of Missouri claiming that abortion safety laws are unconstitutional. If a court agrees, it would open the door for the St. Louis Planned Parenthood organization to expand their unsafe abortion practices to Springfield and Joplin.

“Planned Parenthood is taking aggressive steps to make themselves untouchable while they attempt to expand their sloppy abortion chicanery into unsuspecting communities,” said Newman. “We remain very concerned about the safety of women at Planned Parenthood, and the good people of Missouri should be concerned, too.”

Read the Planned Parenthood Statement of Deficiency Reports:

6/5/2009
1/31/2013
3/31/2015
3/16/2016
5/17/2016

911 Transcripts Reveal Effort to Cover Up Serious Abortion Injuries at St. Louis Planned Parenthood

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – Operation Rescue has received written transcripts of two 911 calls placed by the troubled St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion facility that reveal serious abortion-related complications and an effort to cover them up.

The first shows a facility employee refusing to give information to the 911 dispatcher because she was worried it would show up on “the web-site.”

In the transcribed call, which took place after the Fire Department first agreed to comply with public records laws last year, the female patient suffered from “serious” vaginal bleeding, apparently due to an abortion procedure. The St. Louis Planned Parenthood is known to be high volume abortion center.

Dispatchers are trained to ask questions in order to help the emergency responders be prepared for the specific condition of each patient. A lack of information may lead to delays in receiving the appropriate medical care.

The transcript reads in part:

Planned Parenthood: We need a transfer immediately.

911: Ok, Alright. Is the bleeding serious?

Planned Parenthood: Yes.

911: Ok, Alright. I just have some questions for you, we do have an ambulance en-route. How old is she again?

Planned Parenthood: [Redacted] However we decline to give any more information, we will give it to the team when they come, because of the patient’s privacy.

911: Ok, well it’s related to us [be]cause we are sending you the ambulance. We have immunity regards to the person’s privacy.

Planned Parenthood: However, it still shows up on the web-site.

911: The call shows up on the web-site?

Planned Parenthood: Uhum.

It was unclear to what web site the Planned Parenthood worker was referring. There is no web site operated by the City of St. Louis or the St. Louis Fire Department that publishes 911 information.

“The clinic worker may have been referring to the OperationRescue.org website. Information we publish related to emergency communications is a matter of public record and is obtained legally through FOIA requests,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Refusing to answer a 911 dispatcher’s questions in just another way Planned Parenthood is attempting to evade public information laws and deny information that the public has a right to know. They are desperate to cover up the truth about the dangers their shoddy abortion business poses to women.”

The second 911 transcript was related to a patient who was suffering from multiple seizures in the Recovery Room at Planned Parenthood. Very little information was shared with the 911 dispatcher about the patient’s condition or what might have caused the seizures, but the conversation was clear that the woman was recovering from an abortion procedure.

At one point the emergency dispatcher asked, “Was she pregnant?”

The Planned Parenthood caller responded, “She was.”

The undated transcripts were produced in response to a Freedom of Information Act request after several ambulances were seen at the Planned Parenthood facility in recent months.

Operation Rescue sued the St. Louis Fire Department 2014 for access to a flood of 911 records originating from the Planned Parenthood abortion facility that had been witnessed by pro-life activists.

In a settlement agreement reached in April 2016, the Fire Department released to Operation Rescue a list of 58 calls, 50 of which were listed as Urgent Priority 1 dispatches, a designation that includes life-threatening injuries. According to the agreement specific dates must be redacted, but date ranges are allowed.

The recently transcribed incidents took place sometime between May and November, 2016. Three emergency transports were made from the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility during that time frame, with a fourth one occurring after it.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups are currently working with city officials to further cover up abortion injuries and other abuses.

Two St. Louis Aldermen are attempting to limit the activities of pro-life activists by including “pregnancy and ‘reproductive health decisions’” as “protected classes” under the city’s anti-discrimination law. This would make it a crime to “interfere” with abortion decisions. Trying to dissuade women from abortion would likely fall under this law, if passed.

The Aldermen also plan to introduce a buffer zone law, which would make it difficult for pro-life activists to document medical emergencies at Planned Parenthood.

As reported by Operation Rescue, on December 31, 2016, pro-life activist John Ryan was falsely arrested on the public sidewalk outside the St. Louis Planned Parenthood. He was charged with making a “terrorist threat” to a Planned Parenthood worker, even though there were numerous witnesses that can verify he never did any such thing. The suspicious arrest is thought to be a contrived attempt to provide a reason to support the two proposed laws that would dramatically curtail free speech rights.

“Planned Parenthood is desperate to cover up the truth about its shoddy abortion business. They will lie, they will cheat, and they will mislead, or do whatever else it takes to make sure they can keep killing babies in St. Louis for profit,” said Newman. “We have more documentation that exposes additional safety issues at this Planned Parenthood abortion business that we plan to release soon that is even worse than this 911 transcript. It will show that Planned Parenthood is a dangerous victimizer that needs to be shut down for good.”

Read Transcript 1
Read Transcript 2