Advocates of legalized abortion like to claim that they believe abortion should be safe and rare. Yet Missouri's leading abortion clinic demonstrates clearly that when it comes to the abortion industry, neither is true.
Reproductive Health Services (RHS), the St. Louis abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood, has for decades now conducted a high volume "pregnancy termination" business from its fortress facility on Forest Park in the Central West End, and from a previous facility on West Pine.
What many people don't know, and the secular media will never cover, is that ambulance crews are regular visitors to the RHS facility, ferrying women who have undergone abortions to nearby hospitals for emergency
treatment. Two credible pro-life organizations have documented that nearly two dozen women have been transported by ambulance from the Planned Parenthood clinic in just the last three years.
Defenders of the Unborn reports that 20 medical emergencies requiring an ambulance occurred at the RHS clinic since July of 2009. Defenders of the Unborn maintains an ongoing pro-life witness outside the clinic. The national pro-life group Operation Rescue has
documented three additional incidents at the facility.
The most recent incident occurred on Friday, October 11th. Mary Maschmeier of Defenders of the Unborn says the ambulance arrived about 2:00 p.m. "Emergency workers rushed into the building with more equipment than usual. Within minutes, they wheeled out a Caucasian woman on a stretcher."
Maschmeier says that clinic employees tried to hide the woman from view with a tarp-type blanket, a common practice at the RHS clinic. "When they made a turn on the ramp, you could see that they had completely
covered her body, including her head. She appeared to be in serious condition. They then turned on the siren and sped off."
A similar incident occurred on August 21st. James Capps, an intern for Coalition for Life St. Louis observed that episode. "They brought out a young girl on a stretcher covered neck to toe in white sheets. Talk about a scary, heart-wrenching experience. I was terrified for her. So we prayed."Troy Newman
, President of Operation Rescue, says it is time for state health care authorities to act to protect the life, health, and safety of Planned Parenthood patients. "It is wrong that women are continually placed at risk of life-threatening injury and death at this obviously dangerous clinic while authorities that should
be looking out for patient safety turn a blind eye."
"We call on the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts to immediately halt abortions at the Planned Parenthood office in St. Louis until a full investigation into the rash of medical emergencies can take place," Newman adds.
The State Board of Healing Arts is the agency which regulates and disciplines doctors in Missouri. Maschmeier has been trying for years to get the Healing Arts Board to take some kind of remedial action to safeguard the welfare of clients at Reproductive Health Services. Her efforts have been complicated by the fact that sworn complaints and testimony from victims are crucial to any case calling for disciplinary action. Most women are reluctant to go on record with a formal complaint, wishing to preserve the complete anonymity of their
decision to abort their unborn child.
Operation Rescue has demanded the release of 9-1-1 records related to the two most recent incidents under the State of Missouri's open public records statutes, often referred to as the Sunshine Laws. City of St. Louis officials have refused those requests, citing privacy concerns governed by federal HIPAA laws. Yet Operation Rescue points out that St. Louis City has released previous 9-1-1 records to the organization just last year.
"The city attorney's argument is spurious at best," Newman says. "HIPAA hasn't changed since last year,
so if it was legal to release the records to us then, it should be legal to release them now. It really looks like St. Louis is trying to cover up for Planned Parenthood through an abuse of their authority."
Newman points out that Operation Rescue obtains 9-1-1 records from other cities across the country, where any identifying information concerning patients is redacted from the call logs.
"There is something very wrong at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis and people have a right to know that for their own protection," Newman states. "With the medical board looking the other way, 9-1-1 records may be the only way to uncover the facts, bring abortion abusers to justice, and stop the carnage at this particularly dangerous abortion mill."
Operation Rescue reports that a total of 44 abortion clinics have closed across the country this year. While Newman says that many clinics close due to the retirement of aging abortionists, he says many others are shuttered because of new laws more closely regulating the abortion practice.
"The abortion cartel is failing due to their bad behavior. Some can't meet minimum safety standards and close rather than clean up. Still others are forced to close by states that are beginning to inspect and enforce new and existing laws. This is a trend we expect to continue until abortion is abolished in our country once and for all."
The Reproductive Health Services clinic in St. Louis is the only remaining abortion clinic in Missouri which provides surgical abortions on demand on a weekly
basis. The Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia has provided surgical abortions at times in recent years, but has concentrated its practice on chemical abortions. However, it is important to note that nearly half of Missouri women who undergo abortions do so at clinics outside the state.
Missouri has had laws on the books for several years that regulate abortion facilities to the greatest extent permitted by the courts. However, those laws and regulations do not govern the malpractice and negligence of individual abortionists, who fall under the jurisdiction of the Board of Healing Arts.
You can share your concerns about the hazards posed by Missouri abortionists to women and children by using this e-mail for the Missouri Board of Healing Arts:firstname.lastname@example.org