The Chairman of a state Senate committee formed to determine whether fetal remains are being sold in Missouri for profit said that committee’s first hearing has raised questions about whether state laws and regulations are strong enough to prevent it.
The committee was formed after the release of undercover videos alleging Planned Parenthood illegal sells fetal body parts after abortions.
It asked Department of Health and Senior Services director Gail Vasterling whether she investigated if that could be happening in St. Louis, before allowing the issuance of a permit for the Planned Parenthood facility in Columbia to resume abortions. Vasterling told the committee her staff has no knowledge of it, but testified no one at the Department investigates what happens to remains after it receives a pathology report for each abortion.
Senator Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis) asked how she could testify with any certainty about whether such transactions are happening.
“It doesn’t sound like there’s any accounting as to where the organs of these babies went,” said Onder.
“She can’t say as she sits here that’s not occurring in the State of Missouri,” said the committee’s chairman, Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia). “The closest thing she can come to is when we get pathology reports, that’s the last we see of where hearts and kidneys and lungs and legs go, and we throw them in a drawer and we don’t look at those reports.”
Schaefer called the handling of those pathology reports a loophole that could be exploited, and said a legislative solution could be necessary.