June 20 is the last day that the state Senate is allowed to view documents subpoenaed from Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. The subpoenas followed the work of a Senate committee launched last summer after several videos were released alleging that the organization illegally profited from the sale of fetal tissue.
Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) says the subpoenas demanded information about the organization’s disposal of fetal tissue.
“This was a fact-finding mission and it was really to let the facts lead us wherever they were going to lead us without any preconceived notions of what was in there or not in there,” said Schmitt.
Representative Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) says the subpoenas were political.
“I know there’s several groups that keep asking the Senate you have these documents, now what? That was what the entire fight was this past year,” said Newman.
She says the investigation is a waste of state money.
“It’s thousands of dollars that the state would be paying us for travel, hotel and food expenses to attend these hearings,” said Newman. “The first House one last August was an eight hour hearing and we live all over the state.”
Schmitt says additional accountability could be required of the organization.
“Following when the fetal remains are sent from Planned Parenthood to the pathologist, there’s really no follow-up from the Department of Health,” said Schmitt. “I think that might be something that we’re looking toward.”
Senate Majority Caucus spokesperson Lauren Hieger says even though Monday is the last day the documents can be viewed, the investigation continues.
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.