Resolutions are being considered by the state Senate that would order the director of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, and the owner of a lab that reviews tissue for the organization, to appear before the body by April 25th to explain why they haven’t complied with Senate subpoenas.
Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says Mary Kogut and Dr. James Miller have failed to honor senate subpoenas demanding documents on the organization’s fetal tissue disposal.
Planned Parenthood argues that a Senate interim committee chaired by Schaefer was improperly formed and the panel can’t subpoena a private organization. The committee was charged with investigating whether the organization has broken any laws in Missouri from its fetal tissue program.
Senator Scott Sifton (D-Affton) says the subpoenas were too broad.
“If she keeps a diary on her bedside nightstand, is that not a written document that’s in her possession, custody or control,” asked Sifton.
“Maybe a document, but then we go on in the documents, there’s nothing that would require disclosure of her diary,” said Schaefer.
“If her diary contained responsive information,” asked Sifton.
“If that policy that satisfies that legal requirement were only to be found at her house, but that was in fact the policy of that Planned Parenthood, I think Planned Parenthood has an obligation to produce that document,” said Schaefer.
“Why are we asking Planned Parenthood for documents regarding how it handles needle waste from HPV vaccinations? We’re asking for that Senator. That’s in item one,” said Sifton.
“We don’t care about needles. We just care about what the process is, who they contract and where it’s going,” said Schaefer. “You can run down these rabbit holes, but at the end of the day, it all just boils back to one thing. What are you hiding? Just tell us what your procedure is. You have to have a procedure for this.”
Eleven states, including Missouri, launched investigations into Planned Parenthood following the release last summer of several videos alleging the organization illegally profited from the sale of fetal tissue. All of those states cleared Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing.
The motions for summonses have not come to a vote.