DHSS Opposes Planned Parenthood’s Motion to Keep Doing Abortions While in Violation of Licensing Regs as Preliminary Injunction Expiration Deadline Looms

By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS), which licenses abortion facilities in that state, has filed a motion with the Administrative Hearing Commission in opposition to RHS Planned Parenthood’s request to stay their decision to deny the facility an abortion license.

RHS Planned Parenthood has asked for Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi, to rule on their Motion to Stay without a hearing no later than Friday, June 28, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. when the preliminary injunction issued by the St. Louis Circuit Court expires.

RHS Planned Parenthood has accused the DHSS of acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner in denying their facility license even though they have refused to cooperate with a DHSS investigation of “several troubling instances of patient care at the facility, including one instance where a patient seeking a late-term abortion suffered a potentially life-threatening complication.”

The DHSS filing further stated in part:

It is not arbitrary or capricious for the Department to request interviews with treating physicians in an investigation. It is not arbitrary or capricious for the Department to insist that regulated facilities make their own medical staff available for interviews. And it is not arbitrary or capricious for the Department to infer from the non-cooperation of RHS and its physicians that they lack satisfactory explanations for their conduct. There is no “irreparable injury” to RHS, because any injury to RHS is entirely of its own making. The public interest weighs against granting a stay that would effectively grant a license renewal to a regulated entity that continues to defy an ordinary licensing investigation.

RHS Planned Parenthood is desperate for a stay of the DHSS decision not to renew its facility license because if no stay is granted, RHS Planned Parenthood will no longer be legally allowed to conduct any abortions at their St. Louis facility, which is the lone abortion clinic in the state. 

That would also mean that Missouri would be the first state without an active abortion facility since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

“We expect the AHC to issue some kind of decision by Friday afternoon.  We would hope that the AHC would deny RHS’s motion for a stay.  To keep RHS Planned Parenthood operating while they are in open defiance to oversight attempts would be incredibly unwise and dangerous,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.  “It would send the message that RHS Planned Parenthood is above the law, which would place women in harm’s way.”

In other developments, an order was issued today to seal the full text of the May 28, 2019 Statement of Deficiencies.  A redacted version of the incriminating Statement of Deficiencies has now been released to the public. 

Operation Rescue obtained the unredacted version before it was placed under seal by the St. Louis Circuit Court.

The unredacted version is still publicly available at OperationRescue.org.  That unredacted version also contains a four-page cover letter from the DHSS – missing from the redacted version — that sternly rebukes RHS Planned Parenthood’s lack of cooperation with their investigation into serious patient care violations as “unprecedented and untenable.”

Despite RHS Planned Parenthood’s false claims, no patient has ever been identified by any pro-life group reporting on this case.

An eight-hour hearing before the AHC has been set for August 1, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. where both sides will be given an opportunity to make their cases.

New Document List (Previous documents can be viewed at this link.)

View Operation Rescue’s full archive of reports on the RHS Planned Parenthood licensing case.