Contact: M’Evie Mead, 314-531-7526 x348, email@example.com
Columbia Health Center Lawsuit Update
A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state’s premature effort to revoke Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri’s (PPKM) license after the University of Missouri was pressured into eliminating hospital privileges for PPKM’s doctor.
On Friday, December 18, Judge Nanette Laughrey held a hearing and is considering whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would stop Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) from revoking PPKM’s license while the health care provider searches for a qualified doctor with requisite hospital privileges mandated by the state.
Planned Parenthood said the stay was necessary and its license should not be revoked because if and when it finds a physician with the required privileges, abortion services can resume immediately. If DHSS were to revoke its license, Planned Parenthood would have to go through a burdensome relicensure process that could delay services for months on end.
“We remain confident about our case as we move forward in our search for a qualified physician. PPKM will continue to do everything in its power to restore access to safe, legal abortion for the women in Mid-Missouri,” Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri President and CEO, Laura McQuade said.
Judge Laughrey is expected to issue a ruling before the current restraining order expires next week.
- AP: Missouri Planned Parenthood Fights To Keep Abortion License
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Columbia Planned Parenthood Still Has Abortion License
- Columbia Tribune: Laughrey Hears Arguments In Columbia Abortion Clinic License Case
These Doors Stay Open – No Matter What
Last Saturday, December 12, the Planned Parenthood Health Center on South Grand in St. Louis was vandalized. The center was closed at the time of the attack and no patients or staff members were injured. Police arrested Maria E. Terry, a local woman, and charged her with property damage. Charges allege that Terry broke the center’s windows by throwing rocks, causing thousands of dollars in property damage.
Following the attack, community members have shown their support by sending well wishes, thanking staff for being there, and offering donations of time and money. The South Grand Health Center opened as scheduled on Monday morning. Mary M. Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said, “The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is always our number one priority. Our doors stay open — no matter what.”
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis woman charged with vandalism of Planned Parenthood health clinic
- RH Reality Check: Another Planned Parenthood Clinic Vandalized, This Time in St. Louis
Pushback to Sanctity of Life Committee
The Missouri State Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, led by Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), has issued a subpoena to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwest Missouri for an unreasonable amount of documents, including patient health records related to abortion. Planned Parenthood’s attorneys have said that releasing such records could violate patient privacy laws. The attorneys raised other issues including that the subpoena was unclear, the committee itself was not properly formed, and the committee may not even have subpoena power to begin with.
The committee also issued a subpoena for records to Pathology Inc., the company that contracts with Planned Parenthood to handle fetal tissue. Attorneys for Pathology Inc. also challenged the committee’s authority to issue subpoenas and stated that complying with the committee’s request would violate several laws, including federal patient privacy laws.
- Kansas City Star: Missouri Planned Parenthood denies abortion record request
- Missourinet: Missouri Senate leader will back up subpoenas of Planned Parenthood
- Huffington Post: Investigate Senator Kurt Schaefer. Now.
Federal Budget Update
Last week, Congress passed a budget bill to fund the government through FY16 and rejected the call to defund Planned Parenthood health centers and threats to shut down the government over women’s health funding. Remarkably, the first session of the 114th Congress, led by an anti-women’s health majority in both chambers for the first time in six years, will wind down with a final end-of-the-year spending bill that has no major changes on women’s health programs or policies.
Overall, while the bill extends the many existing harmful policy riders restricting federal funding for abortion and flat-funds programs important to Planned Parenthood, we are encouraged that pro-women’s health members held the line on not allowing new policy riders on women’s health. The thousands of calls, letters and meetings to urge pro-women’s health members to stand up for women’s health and make the case for the important role that Planned Parenthood plays in communities were critical to protecting domestic and global women’s health programs in the final bill.
- Huffington Post: A Big Win For Planned Parenthood
- New York Times: Paul Ryan Defends Compromise In Passing Spending Deal
- NBC News: Ryan Defends Spending Bill: ‘We Fought For As Much As We Could Get’
- The Hill: House Easily Approves $1.1T Funding Bill, 316-113
P.S. It is your support that drives us to fight for reproductive
rights and allows us to provide vital health services to those in our
community. Help be there for women, men, and teens in our community by making a
tax-deductible donation. DONATE