Two officials associated with Planned Parenthood won’t have to face the Missouri Senate on Monday. Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says a deal has been made between the Senate and Planned Parenthood regarding subpoenaed documents about the organization’s disposal of fetal remains.
Schaefer, who is running for Missouri Attorney General, leads a Senate committee charged with investigating what happens to fetal tissue after abortions at Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood will provide some of the records in question. Dr. James Miller of Pathology Services, meanwhile, has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will appear before the Senate.
“I think we were pretty clear what we asked for in the subpoena. We’ve had discussions with their lawyer,” said Schaefer. “Again, the misinformation that we wanted six years of personal medical records was simply never asked for. I think they understand that now.”
The Senate voted last week to order St. Louis Planned Parenthood Director Mary Kogut and Dr. Miller to appear before the body and explain why they haven’t complied with Senate subpoenas issued in November.
In a press release from Planned Parenthood, Kogut says she is pleased with the deal made.
“This agreement is a victory for Planned Parenthood patients and their confidence in our commitment to provide high quality confidential care – no matter what. What Sen. Schaefer was trying to do was wrong. We appreciate Senate leaders who agreed to request a narrower set of policy-related documents that in no way risk patient privacy. It remains deeply concerning that in 2016 a politician was willing to threaten to punish a reproductive health provider with jail for protecting patient privacy,” said Kogut.
Schaefer says the next step will be to have the committee review the documents provided.
An investigation last summer by Attorney General Chris Koster (D), found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Some, including Schaefer, criticized Koster’s work, which included one month of records from the organization.