JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, sent an open letter to University of Missouri Chancellor Bowen Loftin Monday asking for the release of any possible agreement between the University of Missouri and the Columbia Planned Parenthood affiliate.
Schaefer and the other members of the Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life have been investigating allegations that Planned Parenthood has been selling fetal tissue for profit. However, the committee has also begun investigating how an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) license was granted to the Columbia Planned Parenthood affiliate, which allowed it to restart its abortion services after three years of not being able to perform abortions for lack of a certified physician to perform the procedure.
The senator specifically asked the Chancellor for any documents between University of Missouri Health Care and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which owns the Columbia affiliate, that may establish an agreement of any kind between the two for the University of Missouri Hospital to “guarantee the transfer and admittance of patients for emergency treatment whenever necessary,” as required by Section 188.205, RSMo.
Schaefer also wants to know the correlation between the University and Dr. Colleen McNicholas, D.O., the abortion physician for Planned Parenthood of St. Louis and who the Department of Health and Senior Services is also in charge of abortions at the affiliate in Columbia.
By state law, the physician performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortions are performed. McNicholas has no such privileges at either the Boone Hospital Center nor the University of Missouri Hospital, only “refer and follow” privileges at the latter.*
Schaefer’s other concern is the possibility that state taxpayer funds may in some form be assisting in the abortion process at the Columbia Planned Parenthood affiliate.
“For decades the citizens of the state of Missouri have gone to great lengths to ensure that their taxpayer dollars never enable abortion services in the state,” he wrote in the letter. “The University of Missouri is a publicly funded entity, which last year alone received approximately one half of one billion [$492 million] taxpayer dollars from the state of Missouri. Whether DHSS is relying on the agreement granted by the University of Missouri, as a publicly funded entity, to Dr. McNicholas in order to enable the abortion license issuance is a matter of substantial interest and concern.”
Schaefer gave Loftin until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday to respond and provide the documentation.
The next meeting of the Sanctity of Life Committee will be held Aug. 25 at 1:00 p.m.
* – “Refer and follow” privileges are privileges granted by a hospital to a doctor which stat that said doctor can refer a patient to the hospital or a physician at a hospital and follow their progress, but they are not allowed to treat or admit patients to the hospital that gives them those privileges.