Missouri Family E-News

December 8, 2015

                
Senate Leader Calls For Defense of Pro-Life Law    

The President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate has called for the appointment of a special assistant attorney general to defend the state against a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood. 

That litigation, detailed in the accompanying story, seeks to invalidate a state law that requires abortionists to have staffing privileges at a local hospital.

Under Missouri law, it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to defend state statutes that are being challenged in court.  However, Attorney General Chris Koster has been delinquent before in failing to defend or providing a feeble defense of laws he doesn't like.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard of Joplin sent a letter to Koster last week expressing concern over "the apparent reluctance of your office to vigorously defend the law as passed" by the General Assembly.

In the correspondence, Senator Richard specifically requested that Koster appoint an attorney outside his office "who will use every legal tool available to zealously defend the rule of law in this matter."

Senator Richard is most disturbed by a major oversight by Koster's office in their initial appearance in federal court on the Planned Parenthood litigation.

Koster's lawyers failed to point out a settlement agreement reached with Planned Parenthood in a previous federal lawsuit involving the Columbia abortion clinic. 

Under that agreement, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri agreed not bring any future lawsuits against the state of Missouri regarding its abortion clinic license in Columbia.

Yet now Planned Parenthood is doing exactly that in violation of the consent agreement.  Koster's attorneys did absolutely nothing to bring this issue to the attention of  U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughery, or to raise the issue in any of their filings in federal court.

"As legislators charged with crafting the law under which all Missourians live, we are especially sensitive that the rule of law itself be respected by public officials as well as citizens," Senator Richard wrote.

A spokesman for Koster responded by accusing "Republicans in the Legislature" of "using women's health as a political football."  The spokesman added that Koster "is committed to ensuring women have safe and affordable access to care..."

If Koster is indeed "committed" to "women's health," he will vigorously defend the state law.  Far too many women have been wounded and maimed for life due to the malpractice of assembly-line abortionists whose names they do not even know.

Koster's most notorious dereliction of duty occurred last year during litigation over Missouri's Marriage Amendment.  A state judge in Kansas City struck down Missouri's constitutional provision defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman as it applied to out-of-state same-sex unions.

Koster refused to appeal that decision to the Missouri Supreme Court.  As a result, a single local circuit judge abolished a constitutional amendment approved by 71 percent of Missouri voters.  All because Koster refused to show up in court, and fulfill the duties he was elected to perform.

We will see how serious the Attorney General is about his job in the weeks to come.  And we will keep you posted.
  

Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 
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Planned Parenthood
Clinic Wins Reprieve
From Federal Judge
 
The running battle over the legal status of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Columbia has now ended up in federal court, with a federal judge siding for the moment with the state's leading abortion provider.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey has ordered Missouri health officials to sustain the abortion license issued to Planned Parenthood for their Columbia clinic.  Officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) had proceeded to revoke the license because the clinic was no longer in compliance with state health regulations.

State regulations governing ambulatory surgical centers require that physicians performing abortions must have staff privileges at a hospital within fifteen minutes travel time from the facility.  Those regulations are designed to ensure that there is continuity of specialized care should there be complications from an outpatient surgical procedure.  The physician inducing abortions at the Columbia clinic, Dr. Colleen McNicholas, recently lost the clinical privileges she had been granted by the University of Missouri Health Care system.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri responded by filing suit against DHSS, asserting that its planned revocation of the Columbia clinic's license violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  However, the lawsuit articulates no basis for either claim of constitutional infirmity.

Instead, Planned Parenthood contends that "abortion is among the safest procedures in contemporary medical practice."  Thus, Planned Parenthood argues, "there is no medical reason for physicians who provide abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and requiring them does not increase patient safety."

Yet the facts undercut Planned Parenthood's lame position even in their own backyard.   Over the last five years on nearly 30 occasions, ambulances have rushed women to nearby hospital emergency rooms from the St. Louis abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood due to botched abortions.  Records of 9-1-1 calls being withheld by the city of St. Louis suggest there have been many more similar incidents.  Colleen McNicholas is one of the lead abortionists at the St. Louis facility.

In response to the lawsuit, Judge Laughery has now issued a restraining order through the end of the year prohibiting the state from revoking the Planned Parenthood abortion license.  She somehow stated that "neither patient nor public welfare is at risk by plaintiff maintaining its license" while the matter awaits a trial on the merits. 

Judge Laughery, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, also commented that the state's action "may be the result of animus toward the center and the work it performs there."  The word "animus" is legal jargon that signals that a judge dislikes the personal views of one of the parties and may rule against them regardless of what the law and the constitution says. 

Even though Planned Parenthood has won a reprieve of its abortion clinic license status in Columbia, the judge's actions do not result in the renewal of abortion business at the facility.  A separate section of state law prohibits any physician from performing or inducing abortions unless they have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles that offers obstetrical or gynecological care.  Were Colleen McNicholas to return to her bloody handiwork now, she would be guilty of a misdemeanor under state law.
The Columbia Planned Parenthood clinic resumed providing chemical abortions over the summer.  In a chemical abortion, a woman is provided with a regimen of two drugs.  The first one causes the death of the unborn child in utero.  The second drug prompts the delivery of the remains of the unborn child, which are usually flushed down the toilet at home.  The RU-486 regimen is dangerous, resulting in many cases of excessive hemorraghing and the incomplete expulsion of fetal tissue.

It was further exposed over the summer that Planned Parenthood had collaborated with the University of Missouri to enable the abortion provider to reactivate its operating license with the state.  University Hospital appointed Colleen McNicholas to the hospital's organized medical staff last December, despite the fact that her only medical practice is in St. Louis more than a hundred miles away.  Her medical credentials included the grant of unlimited privileges in emergency situations.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reissued Planned Parenthood's Columbia abortion clinic license based on these new staff privileges granted to McNicholas.  State legislators who learned of the collusion between officials at Mizzou and Planned Parenthood were incensed.  Missouri law expressly prohibits the use of any state employees, facilities, or funding to assist in the performance of abortions.

After receiving considerable heat for its underhanded conduct, former University of Missouri Chancellor Bowen Lifton announced that the clinical privileges granted to Dr. McNicholas were being terminated by University Hospital's medical staff.  The privileges issued to McNicholas were described as "outdated and unnecessary."  Hospital spokesman Steve Whitt said at the time:  "It is time to just get better and get rid of crummy doctors..."

Planned Parenthood seized on the recent turmoil involving racial issues on campus to demand that Interim Chancellor Hank Foley restore the university's affiliation with Planned Parenthood's abortionist.  Last week Foley declined to do so.  While he said he had "been touched" by these appeals, he said that the University was required to comply with state and federal laws, and would not renew the hospital medical credentials of Dr. McNicholas.

As we reported recently, the U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of state health requirements that abortionists have clinical, staffing, or admitting privileges at a local hospital.  The High Court will be hearing an appeal of a Texas law that was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In late November, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Wisconsin hospital privileges law.  The appeals court majority ruled in part that the Wisconsin statute had unfairly singled out abortion providers.  However, Missouri's law, which dates back in its origin to 1986, applies the hospital privileges requirement to all outpatient ambulatory surgical centers.

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood is scrambling to find ways to put McNicholas or some other abortionist back to work.  The Associated Press has reported that University of Missouri Health Care "is compiling documents" so that a new application for hospital credentials can be accepted from the Columbia clinic.  It is also possible that a Planned Parenthood abortionist could seek staffing privileges from Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.  That hospital is owned by BJC Health Care, which has a close working relationship with the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. 

Should the University of Missouri renew their partnership with Planned Parenthood in Columbia, it will invite a titanic showdown with the pro-life Missouri Legislature in the coming legislative session in January.  Legislation has already been introduced to tighten state law to ban future shenanigans by University of Missouri officials and staff.  We will report on that legislation in next week's Jeff City Update.   For now, Colleen McNicholas and her ilk are no longer exterminating the lives of preborn children in mid-Missouri.

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