Planned Parenthood filed today a lawsuit to try and prevent Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services from revoking the license of the Columbia Planned Parenthood to provide abortions.
In September the University, under then-Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, ended the type of privileges Dr. Colleen McNicholas claimed as allowing her to perform abortions there. Now that she no longer has the privileges, the Columbia facility is in jeopardy of losing its license today.
Under state law, abortion providers are considered ambulatory surgical centers. Doctors at such clinics must have privileges to perform surgery at a nearby hospital or a written agreement with a hospital to take patients for emergency services.
Planned Parenthood is requesting the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to issue a temporary restraining order that would allow its Columbia facility to keep its license while it looks for a doctor who can obtain privileges with an area hospital.
In a press release today, Planned Parenthood says MU Health Care did not give McNicholas sufficient time to seek alternative privileges needed to continue work at the Columbia clinic, or give the organization enough time to locate another physician.
“Obtaining privileges at a hospital is a tedious, not to mention, medically unnecessary requirement that can take six months, or even more, to fulfill. MU Health Care imposed an impossible timeline for our physician when it terminated Dr. McNicholas’ privileges just more than two months ago,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, Laura McQuade said.
In an earlier statement, McQuade said MU caved to political pressure from Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) and some members of the interim Senate committee charged with determining if any laws were being broken in Missouri by Planned Parenthood. The committee was formed shortly after the release of several undercover videos of the organization that pro-life supporters say talk about selling fetal tissue for profit.