JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, November 16, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A top Missouri legislator says a University of Missouri doctoral student's paper on abortion may violate state law – and he wants to prevent it from being published.
In an interview with MSNBC, State Senator Kurt Schaefer said that he “would never oppose unbiased academic research,” but he doesn't believe that the paper studying effects of the state's 72-hour waiting law qualifies as such.
The student doing the study, Lindsay Ruhr, defended her work to Al Jazeera. “I feel that my research is objective, and that the whole point of my research is to understand how this policy affects women. Whether this policy is having a harmful or beneficial effect, we don't know,” she said.
Schaefer, who chairs the state senate's committee to investigate whether Planned Parenthood engages in illegal fetal harvesting in Missouri, sent a letter in October demanding to see documents related to the paper. In the letter, Schaefer said he believed that Ruhr's dissertation is “a marketing aid for Planned Parenthood – one that is funded, in part or in whole, by taxpayer dollars.”
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It is illegal to use public dollars for abortions in Missouri unless a mother's life is in danger. Schaefer has said he thinks the paper will be used to promote elective abortions, noting that alleged benefits of being in the study include how participants “may help Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri improve its services to better meet the needs of women seeking abortions.” Additionally, Ruhr's adviser is on the board of a local Planned Parenthood affiliate.
Schaefer's efforts come as Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is urging the University of Missouri to reinstate hospital privileges for abortionists. The outgoing chancellor of the state's university system had pulled the privileges, and other Planned Parenthood relationships were terminated in September.
A student who engaged in a hunger strike that led to national attention and the resignation of both the chancellor and the president of the university system cited the separation from Planned Parenthood as one of several reasons for his protest.