Missouri Family E-News

September 29, 2015

      
U.S. Senate Continues Funding to Planned Parenthood

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has joined her pro-abortion colleagues in the U.S. Senate in voting to continue federal funding to the Planned Parenthood Federation and its affiliates.

The U.S. Senate voted last week on a proposal to place a one-year moratorium on federal taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood.  Funds currently provided to Planned Parenthood would have beeen redirected to community health centers.

A motion to suspend debate and bring the bill to the floor for a vote gained 52 votes, eight votes short of the 60 votes needed for cloture.
Senator McCaskill voted to block consideration of the bill and keep taxpayer funds flowing to Planned Parenthood.  Missouri Senator Roy Blunt voted in support of the measure to defund Planned Parenthood.

McCaskill defended her vote with the puzzling statement that eliminating taxpayer support to Planned Parenthood would "cut off the very way we avoid abortion in this country."

Senate leaders pressed for passage of the measure in the wake of sickening undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood workers callously marketing the baby body parts of aborted preborn children.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins chastised the Senate for its failure to put an end to over $550 million in annual subsidies to the nation's  leading abortion provider.

"It is stunning and inexcusable that the United States Senate could not agree to redirect these tax dollars.  Americans have been sickened by the allegations of criminal activity with Planned Parenthood's abortion practices."

"These serious criminal offenses may include violations of the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, and the killing of babies born alive.  These allegations are so disturbing it behooves Congress to stop our hard-earned tax dollars from going to an organization steeped in scandal," Perkins added.

Last week the U.S. Senate also failed to pass a measure which would have outlawed abortions after 20 weeks gestation, a point at which the procedure is widely believed to inflict intense pain on the preborn child.

The vote to take up the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was 54 to 42.  However, 60 votes were needed to shut down a filibuster by pro-abortion senators.

Once again, Senator Claire McCaskill cast her vote with the abortion industry, while Senator Roy Blunt voted to protect the lives of unborn children in advanced stages of pregnancy.

"One of the most successful coverups in legal and social history has misled Americans into believing one of two things--either that abortion is not legal for any reason at any time in this country, or that this radical abortion regime is the norm around the world.  Neither is true,"  said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah during the debate.

"Today, the United States is one of only seven nations in the entire world to allow elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy," Hatch added.  "Other members of that club include China and North Korea."

Senator Blunt offered some excellent remarks during the debate illustrating the viability of the preborn child in later stages of pregnancy. He shared several real-life stories, including that of a little boy named Carl who was born in Kansas City.   

As Senator Blunt described it, Carl was so small that his mother Elene could put her wedding ring around his wrist when he was born at 24 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy.  Yet Carl survived and welcomed his twin brother David into the world 39 days later.

"The overwhelming majority of Americans know that at this stage of pregnancy we are not talking about a clump of cells--we are talking about a baby," Blunt said.  "A child with ten fingers and ten toes, a child with a beating heart, a child with unique fingerprints that nobody has ever had and nobody will ever have again."

"While the culture is embracing the value of theses lives [in the neonatal intensive care unit], down the road in Maryland a doctor says he will end a human life at 28 weeks.  Can anyone on either side of this debate defend that?" Blunt concluded.

You can watch a video of Senator Blunt's remarks by clicking this link:Senator Blunt Remarks

We encourage you to contact Senator Blunt and Senator McCaskill to share your opinion of the votes they cast on behalf of the people of Missouri.

You can contact Senator McCaskill at this link:
Senator McCaskill

You can contact Senator Blunt at this link:
Senator Blunt 
  

Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 
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University of Missouri Revokes Arrangement with Abortion Doctor
 
Facing a continuing onslaught of public criticism, the University of Missouri Health Care System is terminating its medical affiliation with one of the state's leading abortionists.  University Hospital officials have announced that they will be discontinuing the clinical staff privileges that were granted to Dr. Colleen McNicholas.

The relationship of McNicholas with the University of Missouri's flagship hospital has been a subject of controversy since Planned Parenthood resumed their abortion business at their Columbia clinic in late summer.  Dr. McNicholas has served as the abortionist providing chemical abortions at the Columbia facility since early August.

McNicholas has no active medical practice in the Columbia area.  Her medical office is at the Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, where she is on the staff at Barnes Jewish Hospital and Missouri Baptist  Medical Center.  She is a leading abortionist at the Reproductive Health Services abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.

Missouri law prohibits a physician from providing or inducing abortions unless the doctor has clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.  Officials at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reissued an operating license to Planned Parenthood for its Columbia clinic based on medical privileges granted to McNicholas by University Hospital in Columbia late last year.

The exact nature of those privileges has continued to be in dispute.  University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Lofton has continued to insist that the only privileges granted to McNicholas were the ability to refer patients to the hospital and to monitor their progress.  However, documents obtained by State Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia tell an entirely different story.

In a letter dated in December of last year, University Hospital chief of Staff Bert Bachrach informed McNicholas that she had been appointed to the hospital's "organized medical staff" with detailed clinical privileges.  Another document makes clear that McNicholas was granted unlimited privileges in emergency situations.

Senator Schaefer and his staff also uncovered correspondence revealing that a University of Missouri professor collaborated with McNicholas in her efforts to obtain clinical privileges at University Hospital.  Kristin Metcalf-Wilson, an assistant teaching professor in the School of Nursing, provided enthusiastic advice to McNicholas on the procedures to follow.  It just so happens that Metcalf-Wilson is the lead nurse practitioner for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and mid-Missouri, which operates the Columbia Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

State legislators have been outraged over the University of Missouri's complicity in the schemes of Planned Parenthood.  The University's conduct clearly flies in the face of state law which prohibits the use of public funds or public employees to perform or assist an abortion.

It appears that all this duplicitous behavior is too much even for a University chancellor to justify.  The executive committee of the University Hospital medical staff has now voted to abolish the type of privileges granted to McNicholas effective December 1st, saying they were "outdated and unnecessary."

Steve Whitt, chief medical officer for University Hospital, says that the hospital is reviewing the staff privileges of all non-employee physicians.  "It is time to just get better and get rid of crummy doctors--get rid of doctors who are not going to take us into the future."
Senator Schaefer cheered the University's decision.  "From Day One when we learned of this scandal, I vowed that we would get MU out of the abortion business.  Thanks to the persistence of our investigation and the public pressure applied by many defenders of life, we achieved that outcome and many unborn lives will be saved as a result."

Once the staff privileges of Dr. McNicholas are suspended, it is expected that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will revoke the abortion clinic license of the Columbia clinic.  Planned Parenthood may seek to obtain clinical privileges for McNicholas at Boone Hospital, which is operated by BJC Health Care System, notorious for its longstanding abortion connections in St. Louis.  A University Hospital spokesman also says that McNicholas could still apply for new privileges with the University of Missouri Health Care System.

Planned Parenthood is now threatening to sue the University of Missouri, claiming that its actions violate a federal law adopted in 1973 known as the Church Amendment.  That law prohibits any health care facility that receives federal funds from discriminating against a physician because he or she performs or assists in the performance of an abortion, or declines to do so.

A University of Missouri law professor thinks such litigation is a long shot.  "I think it will take some creative thinking to craft a legally persuasive claim that the state has an obligation to assist in access to a constitutional right," says law professor Philip Peters, Jr.

The Columbia Missourian also reports that the University of Missouri School of Medicine has canceled a total of ten working agreements with Planned Parenthood facilities in St. Louis, Kirksville, and Overland Park, Kansas, and in Tennessee and Florida. 

Under those contracts, obstetrics and gynecology residents could complete clinical hours at Planned Parenthood learning how to perform or assist in surgical or chemical abortions.  A University spokeswoman now says those agreements have not been used for some time, and that working experience at abortion clinics was never part of the core curriculum in either the medical or nursing schools.

We commend former Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey for appointing the Senate Sanctity of Human Life Committee, which under Senator Schaefer's leadership has spearheaded the investigation into Planned Parenthood's business practices.  We also commend the efforts of similar committees in the Missouri House.  The committees were convened as a result of the national uproar over undercover videos revealing Planned Parenthood employees trafficking in the baby body parts of aborted children.

We particularly salute the skillful and aggressive efforts of Senator Schaefer to demand accountability from state health and university officials.  "During the course of our investigation, startling facts came to light, our committee dug deeper, and the public made their voices heard," Schaeffer said.  "This joyous outcome is proof positive that these committee investigations matter and the result will have eternal significance." 

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