COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, has penned a letter as the chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on Sanctity of Life to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling requesting the license of the Planned Parenthood in Columbia to be suspended.
Schaefer, who is also chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a candidate for attorney general in 2016, outlined issue taken by the committee that the Department did not send a representative to answer questions regarding the Columbia Planned Parenthood’s business license.
The letter states that the committee does not have “sufficient documentation” to confirm the facility is in compliance with state law, that the license name has changed – against transferability statutes, and that the current license recognizes noncompliance “in the areas of physical and equipment requirements for the facility as well as physician privileges at the hospital in the community, and, therefore is issued conditionally for medical abortions only.”
“…the law does not appear to allow any license issuance without full compliance and does not give the Department discretion to issue conditional licenses.
“Because the Department failed to provide representative with any knowledge of the Columbia Planned Parenthood licensing process at the July 27th hearing, and because the issues above relating to the license itself, I request that you exercise your discretion under Section 197.220 to temporarily suspend Columbia Planned Parenthood’s license pending sufficient investigation into the issues raised above, in order to determine whether the facility is in compliance with Missouri’s licensing and operating conditions for such a facility and to satisfy the public that the Department has, in fact, exercised due diligence in ensuring all legal conditions for the issuance of the license have been met.”
The letter, dated for yesterday, was delivered to Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, Speaker of the House Todd Richardson, and members of the Sanctity of Life Committee.
See the full letter here: Director-Vasterling-Letter-July-29-2015-1.
Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.
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