Planned Parenthood in Columbia suspends abortion services
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Planned Parenthood affiliate in Columbia stopped offering medical abortion services Monday.
After the University of Missouri Hospital revoked the “refer and follow” privileges of Dr. Colleen McNicholas who performed the abortions, apparently the organization and/or McNicholas declined to reapply for different medical or surgical privileges with the hospital. Without those privileges, the organization nor McNicholas could not legally perform abortions at the facility.
Although the privileges officially expire Dec. 1, the facility stopped providing abortion services Nov. 23.
The facility has become a battleground between pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates in recent months after the release of videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue for profit.
The Senate Sanctity of Life Committee and the House Ways and Means and Children and Families Committees have conducted investigations into the organization, as has Attorney General Chris Koster, who found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Planned Parenthood affiliate in St. Louis. That facility was the only one providing abortion services at the time the allegations came to light. Six other states have also said they found nothing suspect about Planned Parenthood’s practices.
Republicans, led by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, have looked to increase restrictions on abortion providers and the Planned Parenthood organization in a state, while Democrats have criticized the right for investigating problems they believe have no basis in fact.