ST. LOUIS, Mo. — An administrative judge in Missouri has allowed the last remaining abortion facility in the state to stay open, concluding that the State wrongfully withheld Planned Parenthood’s license to operate after investigating botched abortions and other concerns.
“Planned Parenthood has demonstrated that it provides safe and legal abortion care,” Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi wrote on May 29. “The physicians who perform abortions at Planned Parenthood through Washington University and [Barnes Jewish Hospital] are all exceptionally competent and well trained.”
“In over 4,000 abortions provided since 2018, the Department has only identified two causes to deny its license,” he stated. “Therefore, Planned Parenthood is entitled to renewal of its abortion facility license.”
As previously reported, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) informed Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region in May 2019 that it had found various concerns that could impact its license renewal.
The Washington Times reports that among the concerns were the discovery of several incidents of botched abortions, including three mothers who allegedly returned to advise that they were still with child, as well as a matter where a woman had to be transported to the hospital for surgery.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the women underwent multiple procedures to kill or finish removing their unborn child. One woman reported to the Planned Parenthood location five times, and another mother who was pregnant with twins came back as the second was still living. The facility argued that it missed the baby because the woman was “morbidly obese.”
Planned Parenthood allegedly failed to file a complication report for one of the women and did not make note of addressing the matter with the abortionist for another.
DHSS subsequently wanted to interview seven “doctors” who work at the facility, citing “deficient practices.” Planned Parenthood advised that only two of those mentioned are employees and the rest are residents in training. As CBS reported, the residents declined to participate in the investigation as per advice from legal counsel.
The State, therefore, warned that the facility could lose its license if the investigation was not completed by the expiration date.
Planned Parenthood soon sued, alleging that it was targeted for political purposes and that DHSS “cherry-picked” a few cases where abortions were botched or incomplete among thousands of abortions that were performed without issue.
“DHSS … is attempting to shut down [Planned Parenthood] by unlawfully conditioning a decision on its routine license renewal application on completion of a supposed ‘investigation’ of a patient complaint,” the lawsuit stated.
DHSS did indeed revoke Planned Parenthood’s license, with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson outlining in a press conference that authorities did so because the facility “failed to meet basic standards of care, placed multiple patients in life-threatening situations, performed multiple failed abortions where patients remained pregnant, and intentionally impeded the state’s health investigation by not allowing health inspectors to talk to the abortion doctors.”
“If you don’t comply with the law, there will be consequences,” he said. “If you don’t provide a standard of care that ensures the safety of women, you shouldn’t be allowed to operate. It’s that simple.”
However, Parson also said that Planned Parenthood had “every right” to resume business if it can show that it is following the law.
Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer allowed the abortion facility to continue operating, and the case then moved to the Administrative Hearing Commission, which likewise allowed Planned Parenthood’s doors to remain open while the legal proceedings moved forward.
Following a hearing in October, the Commission issued its ruling on May 29, opining that the State was wrong to shut down the St. Louis abortuary.
“Ultimately, we have no concerns with the substance of Planned Parenthood’s quality assurance review, and there are no other indications of deficient practices,” Dandamudi wrote. And as for the confirmed deficiencies, “we found that those violations, individually, did not constitute a substantial failure to comply with” the law.
The State has 30 days to appeal.
Yamelsie Rodríguez, president of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, claimed in a statement following the ruling that DHSS Director Randall Williams made “false allegations” against the facility, “all the while failing to tackle the real public health crises ravaging the state, including the COVID-19 crisis, rising infant and maternal mortality rates and skyrocketing rates of sexually transmitted infections like syphilis.”
As previously reported, throughout history, Christians have plainly characterized abortion as murder in God’s eyes — an undoing of the very work of the Lord, who placed a precious living soul in the womb the mother.
“So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject,” obstetrician Hugh Lennox Hodge said in his 1854 lecture on “Criminal Abortion.” “So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in opposition to the laws of God and man.”
In his 1869 sermon entitled “Ante-Natal Infanticide”, E. Frank Howe, the pastor of the Congregational Church of Terre Haute, Indiana, said, “[I]t makes no matter that the victim cannot stretch out its hands in defense. … It matters not that it … can utter no cry of pain or reproach. The sacred gift of human life is taken — is deliberately taken, and this constitutes the crime, and that crime is murder.”
He lamented that “men and women place their own ease and pleasure above God’s law” and that “public opinion is so corrupted there is no voice of reproach,” forthrightly declaring, “Put what face upon it the community will, disguise it under whatever name you please, you can make no more or less of it than simple murder.”
The late preacher Lee Roy Shelton wrote in “The Crimes of Our Times”, “Life is cheap today to the average individual, but not to God. … God is concerned about that baby in the mother’s womb; He gave it. It came into being, I know, by normal process of a male’s and female’s being joined together as one, but it was God who gave the life in conception, and God alone has the right to say when it should be taken away.”
“Children are a heritage of the Lord; God alone gives little children; therefore, woe be unto that woman or man who destroys them, whether in the womb or out of the womb,” he said.
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