By Cheryl Sullenger
St Louis, MO — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has done a disservice to its readership with a deceptive OpEd piece published Sunday, April 10, 2016, mischaracterizing efforts to by the Missouri State Senate’s Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life to subpoena information from Planned Parenthood as a “thinly veiled effort to expose the identities of abortion patients as a means of shaming and discouraging other women from exercising their constitutional rights.”
The truth is that instead of “shaming women,” the vast majority of pro-life activists work selflessly — often without pay — to help women practically, emotionally, and spiritually. But the Committee’s work has nothing to do with patient identities and everything to do with investigating Planned Parenthood’s alleged misconduct that has earned it the reputation of being one of the most dangerous abortion facilities in the nation.
It is beneath any major news source to descend to the level of a blatant propagandist for Planned Parenthood. Instead of providing legitimate journalism, the Post-Dispatch has become Planned Parenthood’s version of “Baghdad Bob,” Iraq’s former minister of propaganda whose ridiculous efforts to defy reality made him a laughing-stock around the world.
“Planned Parenthood routinely feeds the mainstream news media absurd talking points that liberal reporters and editors are all too happy to regurgitate. Planned Parenthood loves using baseless scare tactics that help them play the part of the victim in order to deflect from their own bad behavior. But Planned Parenthood’s favorite tactic is to hide behind the skirts of their abortion customers’ ‘privacy rights’ in order to prevent evidence of their own criminality from being discovered,” noted Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “No one cares about the identities of women seeking abortions. We do care about the Committee having the information it needs to determine whether Planned Parenthood has broken the law.”
In reality, Mary Kogut, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, and James Miller, owner of Pathology Services Inc., (the pathology company used by Planned Parenthood’s high volume St. Louis abortion facility) were legally issued subpoenas for information in the course of the legislative committee’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.
In an act that shows just how much Planned Parenthood officials think they are above the law, both Kogut and Miller have refused to comply with the legally-issued subpoenas. The Committee on the Sanctity of Life had no other choice but to initiate contempt proceedings against them in order to maintain the rule of law, and obtain the information it needs to conduct the investigation with which it was tasked.
“Kogut and Miller must not comply with any measure that compels them to break the law, even if it means going to jail,” stated the Post-Dispatch’s Editorial Board.
Penalties for contempt are modest, and include a $300 fine and up to 10 days in jail.
By urging that Planned Parenthood to defy the law by never complying with the subpoenas, it has clearly stepped over the line into advocating law-breaking. By falsely claiming the Committee wants to “shame” abortion patients, the Post-Dispatch was surrendered all claims to credibility.
“All too often, abortion businesses that have something to hide act like medical records are greater security concerns than our nation’s nuclear secrets,” said Newman. “We have seen that abortionists don’t care about women’s privacy as much as they care about covering up evidence of their own wrongdoing. Corruption — whether it be in the media or political arena — is often the tool used to keep their dirty little secrets from discovery by oversight agencies and law enforcement.”
Operation Rescue has documented over two dozen medical emergencies at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood and has declared it among the most dangerous abortion facilities in America. The public has the right to know why so many women are being maimed at this abortion center, especially in light of the fact that Planned Parenthood continues to receive tax dollars for supposed non-abortion related activities.
According to the Post-Dispatch’s misapplication of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), one might assume that there is no way to comply with the legislative subpoenas without violating patient privacy rights.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The simple act of redacting patient names, addresses, and other identifiers, while leaving the rest of the record intact, would easily provide the Committee with the information it requires without compromising anyone’s privacy.
Criminals must not be allowed to get away with illegal activity by invoking another person’s so-called right to privacy.
Already, the Missouri State Senate’s Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life has served well the public’s interests. Led by Sen. Kurt Schaeffer, it successfully in uncovered illegal activity at Missouri’s abortion facilities.
In Columbia, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, was caught in an illegal scheme with an employee of Missouri University to provide phony hospital privileges for Colleen McNicholas, an abortionist with the St. Louis Planned Parenthood organization. Those phony privileges – which prevented her from even touching a patient at University Hospital in Columbia, were used by Planned Parenthood to obtain an abortion facility license under false pretenses.
This corrupt arrangement served to endanger women who may have suffered complications from abortions done in Columbia by leaving them without the continuity of care that legitimate hospital privileges provide them.
Once the Committee uncovered the corruption, Missouri University cut ties to Planned Parenthood and terminated McNicholas’ bogus “privileges.”
However, Planned Parenthood managed to find a sympathetic Federal Court judge, who barred the state from revoking Planned Parenthood’s ill-gotten abortion facility license, for which it was never qualified.
Now, evidence has surfaced that Federal Judge Nanette Laughrey, who issued the injunction blocking Missouri from enforcing state laws, is married to former Democratic state legislator-turned-lobbyist Chris Kelly, who has been photographed apparently doing business with the same Planned Parenthood that is being protected by Laughrey’s court!
Operation Rescue has launched a petition drive seeking Judge Laughrey’s recusal from the Columbia Planned Parenthood case. [Learn more and sign the petition.]
It does appear that Planned Parenthood facilities in Missouri have a lot to hide, with the shameful assistance of their apparent propaganda arm, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Don’t be fooled. Planned Parenthood is more than willing to lie through their teeth to prevent the truth about their dirty dealings from being discovered, and keep up their phony façade of victim-hood,” said Newman. “We encourage the Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life to keep digging for facts and continue uncovering the abortion corruption that is endangering women. Planned Parenthood must not be held above the law.”