By Cheryl Sullenger

St. Louis, MO – The question of abortion safety is so serious at the Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, Missouri, that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services moved to revoke its facility license in 2019, after an investigation into a high number of medical emergencies revealed at least four women suffered life-threatening injuries from bungled abortions. 

Missouri Administrative Court Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi chose to ignore the dangers uncovered by state investigators at RHS Planned Parenthood as well as the abortion business’ attempts to stonewall a DHSS investigation. In May 2020, he issued a ruling that allowed the facility to stay open.

Now, that ill-advised decision has had serious ramifications for at least one Planned Parenthood client, as shown in a new video recording provided to Operation Rescue by Reagan Barklage, Western Regional Director of Students for Life of America.

That video shows a woman covered with a sheet lying on a gurney as she is loaded into a St. Louis Fire Department ambulance parked near the Planned Parenthood facility’s front door.

This is the seventy-seventh time such a medical emergency has been documented at the RHS Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.  Barkledge told Operation Rescue that she recently received documentation through a public records request from the St. Louis Fire Department that showed as many as 81 women may have suffered abortion-related complications that required emergency ambulance transport from the RHS Planned Parenthood facility since 2009.

In 2018, Planned Parenthood of Greater St. Louis, which operates the St. Louis facility, moved all its chemical abortion appointments to an Illinois facility to avoid Missouri’s strong abortion safety laws.  Once their surgical facility in Fairview Heights, Illinois, opened in October 2019, all chemical and nearly all surgical abortion clients were sent to that location for the same reason.

By the end of 2020, Operation Rescue confirmed that no abortions of any kind were being done at the RHS Planned Parenthood facility in Missouri.

Earlier this year, the St. Louis Planned Parenthood resumed abortions on an extremely limited basis in response to a January 2021 report published by Operation Rescue that noted no abortions were available in Missouri at that time. 

As of this writing, abortion appointments are difficult to get in St. Louis, and the vast majority of women seeking abortions are still being referred to the Fairview Heights facility.

Since Mondays are rarely abortion days, it is unknown why the Planned Parenthood client required emergency transport on March 15.  If the emergency were abortion-related, it is possible it may have been related to a previous injury from an abortion that took place at their busy Fairview Heights facility.

“There is no reason to allow the dangerous St. Louis Planned Parenthood to continue harming women.  It should have been shut down in 2019 when the state found it was too dangerous to operate. That Planned Parenthood is no better than a back-alley chop shop,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.  “If future performance can be predicted on past behavior, I guarantee this will not be the last woman harmed by RHS Planned Parenthood, as long as the state allows it to stay open, and that poses an unacceptable danger to the public.”