St. Louis Authorities Change Policy to Cover Up 22 Planned Parenthood Abortion Emergencies

Two recent ambulance incidents make 22 known emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood since 2009

St. Louis, MO – The City of St. Louis, Missouri, has refused to release 911 records related to incidents at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in compliance with the state’s Sunshine Laws even though it has previously complied with similar open records requests. The St. Louis Planned Parenthood is the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri.

Operation Rescue received reports that two medical emergencies occurred at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood on August 21 and September 10, 2013. As a matter of routine, an Operation Rescue staff member, Deborah Myers, made an open records request for 911 records related to the August 21st incident.

In a letter dated September 20, 2013, Patricia L. Wendling, an assistant city attorney, denied the open record request citing HIPAA laws that protect patient privacy. Wendling noted that records that were responsive to Operation Rescue’s request “could not be de-identified.” [Read the letter]

However, Operation Rescue has previously received 911 records from the City of St. Louis related to previous medical emergencies at Planned Parenthood, most recently in December, 2012.

“Wendling’s argument that the otherwise-public records are protected by HIPAA is spurious at best. HIPAA hasn’t changed since last December, so if it was legal to release the records to us then, it should be legal to release them now,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “It really looks like St. Louis is trying to cover up for Planned Parenthood through an abuse of their authority.”

A similar open records request for 911 records placed in January by a St. Louis resident Patricia Cornell was also denied. That request asked for records related to five incidents involving ambulances at Planned Parenthood on February 11, 2011; November 21, December 1, December 26, 2012; and January 19, 2013.

The December 26, 2012, incident is of particular note. Operation Rescue requested and received 911 records related to the December 26, 2012, incident that were denied to Cornell using the excuses of HIPAA and the inability to “de-identify” the records. That incident involved a woman that had fainted and was “not alert” by the time Planned Parenthood called 911. The patient’s identity was not revealed in the released records.

Mary Maschmeier of Defenders of the Unborn has told Operation Rescue that her organization has documented 19 medical emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion clinic between 2009 and early 2013. Since then, Operation Rescue has documented three additional incidents, bringing the total of known medical emergencies at this single Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to 22.

Maschmeier noted that complaints were filed with the Medical Board and other agencies after each incident, by no action has ever been taken.

“There is something very wrong at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis and people have a right to know that for their own protection. Denying access to these traditionally public records literally puts women’s lives at risk,” said Newman. “With the medical board looking the other way, 911 records may be the only way to uncover the facts, bring abortion abusers to justice, and stop the carnage at this particularly dangerous abortion mill.”

While Operation Rescue expects patient identifying information to be expunged, the rest of the 911 information serves the public interest because it documents the dangers that exist at a particular abortion facility.

Operation Rescue has received abortion-related 911 records from dozens of cities, which acknowledge that HIPAA cannot be legally applied. While most cities redact some information, others redact no information at all.

“Based on information we have obtained through open record requests, we have lodged complaints with medical boards and health departments, whose investigations have subsequently resulted in the discovery of serious violations. Covering up for abortion abuses only further increases the risk that a woman will be seriously injured or killed at shoddy abortion mills that flout the law and the standard of care. For that reason, we continue to demand the release of public records for 911 incidents at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood.”

Please contact St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay and ask that he order the release 911 records originating from Planned Parenthood in compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law and for the public good. (We will accept redaction of patient identifying information only.)

Mayor Francis G. Slay
Phone: 314-622-3201
E-mail Page (scroll down):

  • A. Russell

    Why should such records be covered-up?/hidden/kept from the public?

  • Magie Brennan

    If any of these cases were your family wouldn’t you want to know what medically went wrong? Release the medical records and stop the ugly slaughter and ruination of others.

  • Stephen Orozco

    AND THE WAR GOES ON! Life, truth and safety vs. death, lies ( withholding truth ), and resulting harm. RELEASE THE PUBLIC RECORDS!!! They are a public safeguard!
    Mayor Francis G. Slay, you are a public servant, put in office to promote the well-being of those you serve. Do your job, and quit playing politics! Do you think you will not be held accountable by the One that gave you life and opportunity?

  • Lawrence Mc Phillips

    Typical action of health departments and legal officials who are complicit with planned parenthood for financial of ideological reasons.
    Dear Mayor Slay,

    Your Asst. City Atty., Patricia L. Wendling, Is refusing to release 911 calls from planned parenthood regarding medical emergencies to Operation Rescue personnel. They have done so in the past, but now the attorney is citing HIPPA laws to refuse to grant their request. Your citizens deserve better than this. They must be made aware of the dangers of abortions performed in this clinic, but your asst. City attorney doesn’t agree, and is in fact, covering up for planned parenthood. Do you have the authority to order the release of the 911 records to Operation Rescue as requested or do I have to go to higher authority?


  • L Zagarri

    Thursday, October 11, 2013, while participating for the first time in a peaceful prayer vigil at the Planned Parenthood facility located at 4251 Forest Park Ave, St. Louis, MO, shortly before 2pm, a St. Louis Fire Department ladder truck arrived and two responders entered the Planned Parenthood building. Within minutes, an ambulance arrived and a team transported a person on a gurney to the ambulance at 2:02pm. Staffers attempted to block the public view of the incident by covering the person with a sheet and using a large fabric screen to shield the transport activity.

    As I witnessed this event, my heart felt anxious and full of sorrow. My thoughts were flooding with questions, speculation and possible scenarios that could lead to a need for a 911 emergency call at a Planned Parenthood site.
    …Was this due to complications from a completed abortion which resulted in the death of a child and put a woman’s life in danger?…
    …Was this person a teen whose parents didn’t even know their daughter was pregnant and having an abortion, but will get the call that she has been hospitalized or had died?…
    …Was this a medical incident totally unrelated to an abortion?

    With hot topic issues there are always views, complaints, blame and more. With the abortion issue, one can continue to question, one can judge the women, one can blame the clinics, our government or the laws enacted; one can be shocked by all the senselessness of abortion, and disagree or get angry with Pro-Choicers and Pro-Lifers for their beliefs and stances. But, as we think, feel and act, we could do well to remember that we are all spiritual beings in human bodies-each of us created complete with emotions, a free mind, free will, and plagued with our own set of frailties and sins.

    I am of the opinion that if you want to see change, don’t bother judging or complaining-Act! One person’s action can go a long way toward promoting change. And, as a person of faith who desires change, you Act and Pray. Growing in numbers are Christian advocates working together to address key issues existing within this issue hoping it will soon lead to the desired change-an end to abortion. The Operation Rescue community does that by taking direct action to restore legal personhood to the pre-born and stop abortion in obedience to biblical mandates.

    During my brief, 1 hour vigil, experience, I saw firsthand why prayer and action is needed. Whether one is Pro-Choice of Pro-Life, all must agree that abortion is a surgical procedure and with all surgeries there is risk. Babies are dying and women’s physical and emotional health is being jeopardized. Change needs to happen.

    Increasing awareness about the number of 911 emergency responses incidents at this Planned Parenthood facility, gaining access to emergency response records and opening investigations is a good starting point.