Columbia Planned Parenthood Gets Abortion License While Satanists Fight over 72 Hour Reflection Period

Three stunning new developments in the heated battle over abortions in Missouri

By Cheryl Sullenger

Columbia, MO – As the result of the Eighth Circuit’s reversal last week that halted enforcement of a Missouri licensing requirement that required abortionists to maintain hospital privileges near the abortion facilities where they work, the Columbia Health Center Planned Parenthood received an abortion license yesterday and reportedly began scheduling surgical and medication abortions immediately.

“We know that Missouri pro-life supporters have put their hearts and souls into protecting women and their babies from being targeted for abortions in Columbia. We feel their disappointment and grief at the loss of innocent human life that will now resume in their community,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “However, this isn’t over by any stretch. We know the state will continue to fight to defend their common-sense abortion safety laws, while dedicated pro-life activists will rise to meet the challenge to offer love, hope, and practical assistance to abortion-bound women at the doors of the abortion business.”

Satanists denounce Satanists

Meanwhile, in a bizarre turn of events, the Church of Satan has publicly denounced The Satanic Temple (TST), which is challenging Missouri’s 72-hour reflection period prior to abortions, calling them a “satire/activist group that uses satanic-themed imagery and language to get media and public attention.”

In a statement posted on the Church of Satan web site, a representative known as “Reverend Joel Ethan” wrote:

A little bit of research makes it clear that The Satanic Temple is self-acknowledged satire and an activist group, which pretends to be a religion when it suits their ends. . . We consider anyone claiming to be a Satanist and solely using TST membership as evidence as either being misinformed or as lying. The supposedly “sincerely held beliefs” of TST adherents are scanty, nebulous, and contradictory.

The statement was accompanied by a heavily documented fact sheet exposing the group’s origins and a series of leaders all using assumed names.

The Missouri Supreme Court recently agreed to hear The Satanic Temple’s claim that the 72-hour abortion reflection period violates their religious beliefs.

“If the Church of Satan’s information is true, it is clear that The Satanic Temple is a farce and not a religious group at all. Based on this new information, their challenge to the life-saving reflection period should be immediately dismissed,” said Newman.

One example of how the 72-hour abortion reflection period saves lives can be seen in reports from Kathy Forck, a Columbia pro-life leader that was on the scene at the newly licensed Kansas City Planned Parenthood during its first week of offering medication abortions. She noted that of the eleven women received the informed consent information, only four returned for abortions. One of those four women changed her mind at the last minute after speaking to pro-life activists who were praying on the street outside the abortion facility. That left only three out of eleven women who actually carried through with abortions.

“The reflection period, coupled with the prayer and offers of help from pro-life supporters on the street is a powerful combination that is effective at saving lives. If Planned Parenthood was really about respecting a woman’s choice, they should be completely supportive of the reflection period that gives women an opportunity to thoughtfully consider informed consent literature and all their options,” said Newman.

Planned Parenthood sues again

In one final development that proves the abortion businesses are selective about what information is given to their prospective abortion customers, Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Planned Parenthood of the Greater St. Louis Region, and the ACLU filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court challenging the state-mandated written informed consent aspect of a comprehensive abortion law that is set to take effect in two weeks. (Read the Petition)

The abortion businesses found several objectionable statements in the informed consent literature such as “life begins at conception” and the fact that an abortion “will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”

That lawsuit is expected to be defended by the state.

Newman asked for pro-life supporters to remember those engaged in this fierce battle for the lives of the innocent in Missouri. “We are asking supporters around the country to pray for Missouri and the efforts to protect women and babies from exploitation by Planned Parenthood,” said Newman. “I have every confidence that in the end, the cause of Life will prevail.”

Read related story

Moves and Counter Moves: Planned Parenthood Wins Some, Loses Some in Missouri

By Cheryl Sullenger

Jefferson City, MO — A drama is unfolding in Missouri that pits two Planned Parenthood organizations against the pro-life administration of Gov. Eric Greitens, with legal maneuvering akin to a high-stakes game of chess, with well-planned moves and counter moves. But in this case, the victor wins the right to protect life, or take it.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of Greater St. Louis Region launched a court challenge of a long-standing state law that required abortion abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30-miles of the facilities where they conducted abortions.

That law was preventing Planned Parenthood’s expansion from just one facility to four in the communities of Springfield, Joplin, Columbia and Kansas City because neither organization had an abortionist that could qualify for hospital privileges in those communities.

A lower court ruled this summer in favor of Planned Parenthood and barred enforcement of the law. Planned Parenthood rapidly moved to license their existing offices as abortion facilities. They were successful at receiving a license for the Midtown Kansas City facility, which has now offered medication abortions for the past three weeks.

The State appealed that ruling to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which, on September 15, 2017, vacated the lower court’s injunction on the hospital privilege requirement, once again halting Planned Parenthood’s facility licensing process.

Planned Parenthood filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court in a desperate effort to revive their abortion expansion plans.

However, in a surprise move, the Eighth Circuit reversed itself on October 2, and have now prevented Missouri from enforcing the law. Having gotten what they wanted, Planned Parenthood withdrew their Supreme Court petition and have pushed forward to license their offices in Joplin, Springfield, and Columbia for abortions.

With lightening quickness, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services countered that same day with a new regulation under authority provided it by the state legislature. That regulation requires licensed abortion facilities to maintain an agreement with an emergency-backup physician who would be on call around the clock.

It may even provide difficulties for the recently licensed Kansas City facility whose current emergency plan is to refer women to an emergency room and hope for the best. Fortunately, pro-life activists report that the facility’s abortion numbers are quite low, with only two or three abortions taking place each week — well off the expected pace of 500 abortions per year.

Without the hospital privilege requirement, the Department of Health’s new regulation is necessary to ensure women experiencing complications from the abortion pill are properly cared for since the abortion pill has a high rate of failure.

“Roughly one out of every twenty women end up in the emergency room or require surgery to complete the failed abortion.” states
Dr. Donna Harrison, President of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.*

With this dramatic of a complication rate associated with the Abortion Pill, Planned Parenthood’s lack of concern for women facing these complications is troubling.

“Missouri’s new emergency back-up physician requirement is very much necessary, given Planned Parenthood’s unwillingness to provide women with an acceptable emergency plan. It will also slow Planned Parenthood’s expansion down,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “I’m proud of Missouri’s activists and their officials for pulling out the stops to enforce the law and bring a level of accountability to the Abortion Cartel that will save lives.”

In another recent development, Planned Parenthood has found an ally in the Satanic Temple, which is challenging some of Missouri’s abortion laws, and is attempting to gain an exemption for its members from the state’s 72-hour informed consent refection period, claiming it violates the Satanic Temple’s religious tenets.

The dizzying series of moves and counter moves by those who respect life and those who wish to take it are expected to continue in Missouri into the unforeseeable future.

Read the Health Department Memo concerning the back up physician rule.
_____

[*HT to Brad Mattes, President of Life Issues Institute]

Planned Parenthood’s Missouri Abortion Expansion Plans May Be Fleeting

By Cheryl Sullenger

Kansas City, MO – Reveling in an injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs earlier this year that blocked enforcement Missouri’s long-standing requirement that those who conduct abortions must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion facility, two Planned Parenthood organizations are pushing forward with plans to expand abortions into four communities in the Show Me State.

However, Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion plans may be short-lived.

On September 12, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted State Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request that the full court rehear the appeal of the ruling that blocked the long-standing safety regulations. The Eighth Circuit also ruled to vacate a July ruling that denied the state the opportunity to make a motion in opposition to the restraining order that Planned Parenthood is relying on to expand their abortion businesses.

Earlier this week, Planned Parenthood Great Plains, based in Overland Park, Kansas, announced that it has begun taking appointments for medication abortions, which are expected to resume next week. It also reportedly just passed a state inspection of its Columbia location, which has been the heated fulcrum of Missouri’s abortion battle for a number of years.

Planned Parenthood of Greater St. Louis Region has signaled that medication abortions at its Springfield center are just weeks away. It also plans to add abortions to their list of services in Joplin.

None of the abortionists involved in the expansion plans have qualified for hospital privileges, leaving women at risk of delay in emergency care should abortion complications arise, as they have all too frequently at the currently-lone Missouri abortion facility in St. Louis.

This means if the state appeal to the full Eighth Circuit is successful, the four expansion locations would again be in non-compliance of Missouri licensing requirements.

In addition, a Missouri new law, SB5, is set to go into effect later this year. There is doubt that the Planned Parenthood facilities can comply with the many new patient safety requirements, which include:

• Detailed emergency plans;
• Prohibitions against interfering with emergency medical treatment by requesting ambulances run without lights and sirens;
• Unannounced annual inspections;
• Informed consent must be given by the person conducting the abortions.

SB5 also has placed the authority of enforcement of this new law within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s office, and provides new protections for whistleblowers who come forward with information of violations.

“Planned Parenthood organizations in Missouri have been known to engage in dangerous and deceptive practices in order to circumvent state laws and safety regulations. Given their poor past performance, I believe Planned Parenthood’s anticipated abortion expansion will not last long,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The work of Operation Rescue in documenting abortion abuses at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis abortion location provided a basis for many of the provisions in SB5.

A 2015 State Senate investigation, led by State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, into Planned Parenthood’s shady operations led to the discovery that Planned Parenthood Great Plains had obtained phony hospital privileges for their Columbia abortionist Colleen McNichols, along with irregularities in in the required pathology reports for all tissue and human remains from abortions. It also revealed that the Department of Health at that time may have been complicit in allowing these violations.

Since then, a new pro-life administration under the able leadership of Gov. Eric Greitens made no bones about their efforts to ensure abortion facilities stop their shoddy practices. Also, the Missouri Department of Health has appointed a new director who is dedicated to ensuring that the laws of that state are properly enforced.

Despite the headlines touting Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion, Newman remains hopeful.

“We will just have to wait and see how the legal issues and the new law pans out in Missouri, but given the new conditions in Missouri with a new pro-life administration and the new law, don’t place any bets on Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Ohio Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Toledo Abortion Facility Transfer Agreement Case With No Mention of Mishandled Emergency

Capital Care Network abortion facility in Toledo, Ohio.

By Cheryl Sullenger

Columbus, OH — The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the case of a Toledo abortion facility that is attempting to stave off license revocation for failing to maintain a written transfer agreement with a local hospital.

Stephen Carney, the attorney representing the State of Ohio argued that the case was not about abortion since the regulation applies to over 200 ambulatory surgical centers throughout the state. He maintained that abortion facilities were not singled out.

“We shouldn’t distort the normal rule of law just for abortion clinics,” he argued.

In Ohio, ambulatory surgical facilities are required to have a written transfer agreement with a local hospital. The Ohio Department of Health notified Capital Care Network of its intent to revoke its ASC license because it first had not transfer agreement whatsoever. Later, Capital Care contracted with a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 52 miles away from the Toledo facility and indicated they would call for a helicopter to transport women.

However, the state argued that Capital Care Network admitted it never had any intention of calling for a helicopter, because it would take nearly an hour to get a helicopter ready and even then, there was no place to land at the abortion facility.

Carney was questioned repeatedly over the requirement that hospitals be local and exactly what the definition of “local” might be. While he noted that the regulation did not specifically mention the word “local,” it could only be implied in the context of the requirements of speed in a medical emergency. He used the example of an Ohio ambulatory surgical center contracting with a California hospital as being impractical due to distance and lengthy travel time.

He argued that there were three benefits to ambulatory surgical centers having written hospital transfer agreements. First, it ensured continuity of care for the patient and guaranteed admission to the hospital. Without a transfer agreement, a patient might simply be stabilized by emergency room doctors then released.

Operation Rescue notes that is exactly what happened to a Michigan abortion patient, Cree Erwin, who sought help at a Battle Creek hospital in June 2016, after she suffered a perforated uterus during an abortion at Planned Parenthood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, two days earlier. She was released by emergency room doctors after pain drugs made her feel better, when she should have been admitted. She died hours later from her abortion-related injuries, illustrating how the emergency room practice of releasing after stabilization can be dangerous for women suffering unknown abortion complications.

Other benefits to having a hospital transfer agreement noted by Carney are open communication with the hospital staff, and the guarantee that medical records will be transferred to the hospital with the patient.

However, during the over 45 minutes of arguments, the fact that a patient was transferred to Toledo Hospital on April 1, 2017, was never discussed. That patient was driven to the hospital emergency room by a clinic employee in her private vehicle after the abortionist, believed to have been Lucy Ann Nunnally, suspected a uterine and bowel perforation during the 11.5 weeks suction abortion. No medical records were sent with that patient.

The Ohio Department of Health has notified Capital Care Network of its intent to fine the abortion facility $40,000 for mishandling the transfer in violation of the facility’s own written emergency protocols, which require them to call 911 for an ambulance to transfer patients. The fine was a result of a complaint filed by a local pro-life activist at the recommendation of Operation Rescue.

Jennifer Branch, the attorney arguing for Capital Care Network maintained that the abortion facility’s license was unlawfully revoked even though the abortion facility never has had to transfer a patient, again, failing to inform the court of the April 1 transfer.

Branch argued that there was no benefit to having a hospital transfer agreement, and that such agreements posed an undue burden on women because abortion facilities had a difficult time contracting with hospitals. No Toledo area hospital would agree to enter into a transfer agreement with Capital Care Network.

However, Carney noted one ironic argument made by the abortion facility. While the abortion business argues that Ann Arbor, Michigan, is not too far to travel for a woman suffering a medical emergency, it is too far to travel for a woman seeking to make an abortion appointment for the following week.

“Dumping a patient with life-threatening injuries on an unprepared hospital emergency room staff without so much as a medical record to help them treat the patient is irresponsible and undeniably dangerous, but that is exactly what Capital Care Network has done,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The Court should rule that the state acted properly to enforce Ohio law, and to protect women. The Court would serve the best interests of the public and the rule of law by upholding the Department of Health’s license revocation order.”

The Ohio Supreme Court took the case under advisement.

Planned Parenthood Abortionist on Hand Washing: Is That a New Standard?

New Missouri law may help prevent Planned Parenthood from opening four more dangerous abortion facilities, and a new inspection report shows that would be a good thing.

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Senate took advantage of a special session to send a bold new bill, SB5, to pro-life Gov. Eric Greitens, that will ensure annual inspections of abortion facilities, and numerous other provisions designed to provide greater protections for women, more accountability for abortion businesses, and a better mechanism for enforcement of abortion laws. Gov. Greitens signed the measure into law Wednesday afternoon.

Missouri has only one abortion facility, the Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. However, Planned Parenthood has announced plans to open four new abortion facilities in that state. The new law will likely put a damper on those efforts.

Now, a new inspection report just released to Operation Rescue by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) shows the dire need for this legislation.

The inspection report reveals egregious deficiencies recorded at Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri, during a failed health and safety inspection conducted on May 25, 2017.

It also revealed an arrogance on the part of Planned Parenthood abortionists and staff that challenged a state health official on long-standing infection control standards and willfully ignored a law that requires abortion facilities to report abortion complications.

“From what we see in the 183 pages of documents we received from the Department of Health and Senior Services, Planned Parenthood has been repeatedly cited for numerous violations. They only clean up their act for the inspectors, then it is back to their old ways as soon and the inspector is out the door.”

Newman noted that there was also evidence that the Department of Health was turning a blind eye to complaints and giving Planned Parenthood a pass on serious deficiencies that affect patient health.

Willful failure to report abortion complications

Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood was cited during the May 25 inspection for failure to report abortion complications within 45 days to the Department of Health and Senior Services as required by Missouri law.

The inspector reviewed the facility’s complication log and noted that several women sought post-abortion care for reportable complications such as hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, cervical lacerations, and retained aborted baby remains.

Planned Parenthood never reported complications even though they were aware for months that the law existed. Planned Parenthood’s Director of Quality told the inspector the facility wanted a “clearer definition of complication” before they would comply with the law.

The bill just approved by the legislature would give authority to the Attorney General’s office to bring suit against abortion facilities when local authorities fail to act.

Hand washing: Is that a new standard?

In another egregious violation that resulted in multiple recent citations, two abortionists and several staff members were observed by a state health inspector failing to wash their hands between glove changes. The inspection report indicated that glove usage was not a replacement for hand hygiene.

After abortionists would perform such tasks as vaginal exams, cervical blocks, and laminaria removal, and never wash their hands between glove changes. Some staff members were seen handling their cell phones, rubbing their noses, putting gloved hands on hips or in pockets – all of which contaminate the gloves – then either did not change the gloves or failed to conduct proper hand hygiene between glove changes.

Almost remarkably, the Medical Director and abortionist David L. Eisenberg, “questioned if hand hygiene between glove changes was a new standard” and inquired whose standard it was.

Properly washing hands between glove changes was noted to be a nationally recognize standard from the Centers for Disease Control.

His response indicated that his unsanitary practice of not washing his hands was longstanding and could have affected the health of every women seen by Planned Parenthood.

Unsanitary facility and practices

Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood was also cited for improperly removing dirty surgical instruments from procedure room partially wrapped in a disposable pad instead of transporting the soiled instruments in a covered, leak-proof container labeled with a bio-hazard label.

It also violated other infection control protocols by failing to properly use germicidal wipes to clean up blood on abortion table, and failure to maintain a sanitary environment free from holes or rust that harbors diseases and transmits infections.

In an example of how certain deficiencies were left uncorrected for years, the abortion facility was cited in May for tape residue on the oxygen tanks. Such residue harbors bacteria and cannot be sanitized. However, Planned Parenthood was also cited for tape residue on the oxygen tanks during a licensing survey on January 31, 2013.

It appears the same tape residue was never cleaned despite multiple citations over a four-year period!

DHSS turns a blind eye

There is evidence that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services was turning a blind eye to violations, and especially complaints filed against Planned Parenthood.

Deficiency and Investigation Reports for St. Louis Planned Parenthood – Table by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

The documents received by Operation Rescue included 21 complaint or allegation investigations between 2011 and 2017. Every one of those complaints were found to be “unsubstantiated.”

“It seems incredible that the DHSS could not substantiate a single complaint out of 21 in the past five years or so,” said Newman. “Could all those complaints be lies, or does the DHSS have an unwritten policy of ignoring all complaints against Planned Parenthood? Pennsylvania has a similar policy and now we know what that gave us. It produced Kermit Gosnell, a serial murderer who operated a squalid abortion facility where women were infected and killed.”

All but two investigations determined that there were no deficiencies, or that the Planned Parenthood abortion facility was in “substantial compliance” – an oddity since most of the investigations were off-site and never involved a visit to the abortion facility.

That one investigation where deficiencies were found was done in conjunction with a licensure survey on March 31, 2015, where 17 pages of violations – some repeat offences – were cited.

“SB5 is a desperately needed law that will prevent Planned Parenthood from exploiting women by cutting corners on facility sanitation, concealing serious abortion complications, and other violations that endanger women’s health that Planned Parenthood has gotten away with for years,” said Newman.

According to Bev Ehlen, Missouri State Director, Concerned Women for America, the new law will provide for all of the following:

• Creates a Class A Misdemeanor for abortion facility workers to order ambulances to run without lights and sirens or otherwise interfere with the normal operations of emergency responders. [See Operation Rescue’s previous report and video on this provision];
• Overturns a St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance and prohibits other municipalities from passing similar ordinances;
• Prohibits forcing religious schools to hire pro-abortion teachers and staff;
• Prohibits forcing landlords to rent to abortion clinics;
• Prohibits requiring abortion coverage in health insurance plans;
• Prohibits seeking to harass and disrupt the work of pregnancy resource centers.
• Only physicians licensed to practice in the state of Missouri may perform or induce abortions in an abortion facility located in Missouri;
• Retains current 72-hour reflection period prior to an abortion, but adds requirement that abortion physician meet in person with the woman considering an abortion 72 hours prior to performing or inducing an abortion to discuss medical risks;
• Requires an abortion doctor seeking to administer medical abortions to obtain approval of a “complication plan” from the Missouri Department of Health for steps that will be taken when problems arise from administering such an abortion;
• Requires abortion facilities to maintain written protocols for managing a medical emergency and transferring patients to a hospital with a reasonable distance from the facility for further emergency care;
• Strengthens current law requirements regarding how fetal tissue from abortion is to be submitted by an abortion facility to a board eligible pathologist for examination. Also strengthens requirements for pathologists to make fetal tissue reports to the Missouri Department of Health and the abortion facility; (The intent is to verify that no fetal tissue from an abortion is being illegally sold or donated for experimentation.)
• Requires abortion facilities to develop written policies protecting employees who disclose information about possible health and safety violations of state or federal law;
• Requires Missouri Department of Health to make annual, on-site and unannounced inspections of abortion facilities;
• Grants the Missouri Attorney General the authority to bring suit against an abortion facility for violation of abortion laws even when local prosecutor fails to act.

The law is due to go into effect in late October.

Read the May 25, 2017, Inspection Report

Read Operation Rescue’s Special Report detailing previous inspection reports from Planned Parenthood in St. Louis dating back to 2009 that prove this facility isn’t clean or safe.