Missouri Judge Allows Unqualified Planned Parenthood to Keep its Abortion License for Now

Legislature fights back by filing a bill to protect women from shoddy providers


By Cheryl Sullenger

Columbia, Missouri – When Missouri University cancelled Colleen McNicholas’ deficient “refer and follow” privileges, it created a crisis at the Planned Parenthood office in Columbia, Missouri. Not only did they no longer have an abortionist that could legally continue abortions there, but it also meant that they were no longer qualified for licensure as an abortion facility.

Knowing they could not comply with the legal requirements of licensure, Planned Parenthood sued and obtained a temporary injunction blocking the State from revoking its facility license.

In a teleconference hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, extended the injunction to December 30, 2015, in order to give Planned Parenthood more time to find a new abortionist with local hospital privileges to replace McNicholas.

Laughrey is a 1995 nominee of pro-abortion President Bill Clinton.

“The main purpose of the judiciary is to interpret the laws, not circumvent them,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Since Planned Parenthood cannot meet the legal requirements, the clinic should not be allowed to maintain its abortion facility license. It’s just that simple.”

Right now, Planned Parenthood cannot legally do abortions because it has no abortionist that can qualify for local hospital privileges, a compliance issue for Planned Parenthood that has kept abortions out of Columbia on and off for years.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Legislature has filed its first bill pushing back against the unaccountability of Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood involvement in the sale of aborted baby body parts which sparked an Interim legislative committee investigation into practices in Missouri.

The new bill, put forth by Sen. Bob Onder, would require abortion clinics to submit all of the human remains from abortions done in Missouri to a pathology lab that would then certify that all the remains were legally disposed. It also tightens reporting requirements and mandates that the Department of Health and Senior Services issue an annual report to the General Assembly noting the type of procedure and gestational age and other information for every abortion reported to the agency.

The bill would also clarify the precise nature of hospital privileges required by abortionists. This rule stems from the fact that McNicholas, a St. Louis abortionists who could not qualify for standard hospital privileges in Columbia, was improperly shepherded through the system by an MU employee and granted “refer and follow” privileges that were deceptively passed off as full clinical privileges. In reality, McNicholas was not allowed to treat anyone at Columbia’s University Hospital. She was allowed only to suggest patients go there, then receive information on her care after the fact.

Onder had indicated that he believes that the bogus “refer and follow” privileges, which were held only by McNicholas and a retired physician, did nothing to protect the health of women receiving abortions by McNicholas.

Once the details MU’s involvement in the deceptive process that led to abortions resuming in Columbia after a three year absence, MU officials cancelled McNicholas’ so-called “privileges” in order to bring the University into legal compliance. Since MU is publicly funded, it cannot participate in facilitating abortions.

“The privileges that McNicholas had were so-called ‘refer and follow privileges.’ All they gave her the right to do is to refer to the hospital. For that matter, you or I could refer to the hospital,” Onder told MissouriNet.com. “And then for her to look at the patient’s electronic medical records. That does not meet the letter or the spirit of the statute, and I really believe that the Department of Health and Senior Services broke the law when they issued the [ambulatory surgical center] license to the [Columbia Planned parenthood facility].”

“It is clear that Planned Parenthood illegally obtained their abortion license through the use of deception. Once they were caught, they sought out a like-minded judge to help them keep a license they were never qualified to have in the first place!” said Troy Newman. “It really takes a lot of gall for Planned Parenthood to sue the state for bringing them into legal compliance. This is another example of how abortion businesses think they are above any law they don’t like. This mindset makes them very dangerous.”

The Associated Press has reported that Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, sent a letter to Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster questioning “the office’s handling of the case” and calling for a special assistant attorney to defend against the Planned Parenthood suit after noting Koster’s “apparent reluctance” to defend the law.

“Missouri officials need to stop playing politics with women’s lives and just enforce the laws as written,” said Newman. “They must stop twisting the rules in order to financially benefit their cronies at Planned Parenthood at the cost of the health and safety of women and the lives of innocent babies.”