Until a judge stepped in last week, May 31 was the last day Missouri would have had an abortion facility. The facility in question is Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, which has had difficulty renewing its state license due to health and safety violations. Yet last week a judge granted a temporary reprieve until a June 4 hearing.
Planned Parenthood claims state requirements for license renewal were “out of its control.” CBS News reported:
According to Planned Parenthood, the health department said it was investigating ‘deficient practices,’ and needed to interview seven physicians who provide care at the clinic. Planned Parenthood said it could offer interviews only with two who are its employees. The other five physicians working at the facility are residents in training and not employed by Planned Parenthood, a spokesperson for the clinic said via email on Tuesday. The state has indicated that the result of those interviews could be ‘board review’ in addition to ‘criminal proceedings,’ the spokesperson said. The medical residents declined to be interviewed for the state’s investigation.
If these medical residents refused to be interviewed to ensure the abortion facility is providing safe and proper care for women, how is that the state’s fault?
Naturally, Planned Parenthood sounded the alarm, via a lengthy and hysterical statement on its website, tweets from President Dr. Leana Wen, and on mainstream news networks. As CNN reported, Missouri Gov. Michael Parson acknowledged that the facility “should have every right under the law to have their license renewed, but they should not receive any exemptions simply because they’re one clinic.” Parson also noted “this is about a standard of care for women in the state of Missouri.”
It’s worth noting that even the abortion-friendly CNN conceded “the lack of a license would not mean the end of the health center. It would still provide care including birth control, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings and more.” While the outlet bemoaned that “the reality of what this would mean for abortion access is stark,” what’s not only stark, but largely underreported, is the slew of incidents and medical emergencies occurring at the facility.
In the statement, Wen referred to the possible cessation of providing abortions as “a real public health crisis.” Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an OB-GYN at the facility, claimed “our top priority is to ensure access to abortion continues so that every patient can access high-quality care in Missouri” and that “None of this has one bit to do with patient health or safety, but rather, banning abortion. State officials continue moving the goal post on abortion providers until we can no longer provide care.”
Pro-lifers can agree that there is “a real public health crisis,” and from McNicholas’ statements, one would never know it has to do with the facility still being allowed to provide abortions. Pro-lifers have dubbed this center “the most dangerous abortion facility in the country.”
It just sent its 74th patient in 10 years to the hospital earlier this month as a result from a botched abortion. That’s about a medical emergency every seven weeks. Operation Rescue noted that it was the third time in 22 days an ambulance was called to the center. Witnesses described seeing “a prone woman totally strapped in and not moving.”
On April 26 during another medical emergency, witnesses could not see the victim or if she was even conscious. Planned Parenthood has been prone to concealing and covering up medical emergencies this way. The ambulance even arrived quietly, without lights or sirens, despite state law requiring them to do so.
Operation Rescue says “the most common reason for calls for emergency assistance and transport at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis is hemorrhaging, which is a life-threatening condition.”
As if these medical emergencies were not bad enough, the clinic has had less than stellar health inspection results. An inspection from 2017 revealed the medical director, Dr. David Eisenberg, not washing his hands, the contamination of sterile gloves, the improper removal of soiled medical instruments, and a violation of infection protocol.
With these key facts in mind, one could objectively make the argument that it is “about a standard of care” and that it is Planned Parenthood which is playing politics. If these medical emergencies continue, at such a rate, it would be “a real public health crisis” to not order them to stop performing abortion.
This all comes after Parson recently signed legislation banning abortion at eight weeks in Missouri. It is worthwhile for the pro-life movement to debate making abortion unthinkable by banning it outright, or by seeking to restrict the procedure with a more incremental approach, such as through 20-week bans or with regulations meant to make the procedure safer for mothers.
The latter is especially helpful in informing the public how abortion not only kills an unborn child, but is unsafe for the mother who undergoes the procedure. If an abortion clinic has to close because it can’t comply with health and safety regulations, as is the case in Missouri, then fault is with the clinic and the abortion industry, not the state.
CBS reported that McNicholas claims to be “100 percent committed to the best care that we can provide for patients. So certainly if there is an issue with the care we’re providing we want to know about it.” She’ll forgive us for not believing her, especially when she chalks it up to how “we can’t do that when we’re being attacked.” It’s not an attack if and when medical care is substandard.
Under Roe v. Wade, abortion was legalized in all 50 states, so it is likely courts will step in to allow the St. Louis facility to perform abortions, even if it does so unsafely. Such a standard, however, is not only unsafe for children being aborted, but for their mothers. It appears Planned Parenthood and its allies seek to protect abortion first and foremost, even unsafe abortion.