December 16, 2016 (OperationRescue) – Pro-life leaders from a coalition group TeamPLAY gathered on Monday for press conferences in five at-risk Missouri cities to ring the alarm about dangerous practices at the two Planned Parenthood organizations operating in that state.
That same day, Planned Parenthood countered by filing a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to block abortion safety laws so their substandard abortion businesses could be dangerously expanded.
Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains (CHPP) and Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (RHSPP) are asking a Federal Court to block enforcement portions of Missouri’s Ambulatory Surgery Center Licensing Law that require facilities performing abortions to meet the same standards every other Ambulatory Surgical Facility must meet. They also want blocked two provisions that require abortionists to maintain hospital admitting privileges within 15 minutes of the facility where they conduct abortions.
Operation Rescue obtained court documents filed with the motion that include declarations from CHPP CEO Laura McQuade, RHSPP CEO Mary Kogut, and RHSPP Medical Director David L. Eisenberg, and others that contain statements that contradict facts or rely on sources that lack credibility.
St. Louis Planned Parenthood
Currently, there is only one active abortion facility in Missouri, the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, which is considered by many to be the most dangerous abortion facility in the nation due to alarmingly frequent ambulance transports that take place there.
While CEO Mary Kogut stated in her declaration in support of the preliminary injunction that the St. Louis abortion facility has an “excellent safety record,” that statement does not pass the smell test in light of 911 records and other evidence.
Documentation obtained in April 2016, by Operation Rescue through legal action against the St. Louis Fire Department shows 58 medical emergencies, categorized by type of problem and priority level that took place at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortion facility between January 1, 2009, and April 16, 2016.
The most common injury was categorized as “Dangerous or Possibly Dangerous Hemorrhage.” Others listed included abdominal pain, stroke, seizure, allergic reaction, and more.
Since then, there have been there have been five additional patient transports to a local hospital for critical care that the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility was incapable of providing. The most recent incident occurred on November 23, 2016 — the day before Thanksgiving.
That documentation was used by TeamPLAY as proof that serious safety issues already exist at Planned Parenthood under existing law that continue to endanger the lives of women every day. If Missouri’s safety laws are blocked, there will be nothing to stop Planned Parenthood from spreading their hazardous abortion business across the state.
Now, RHSP — the same Planned Parenthood organization which has seriously injured women at a rate of one every 42 days — wants to expand its unsafe brand of abortion services to facilities in Springfield and Joplin. Both would offer the abortion pill, while the Springfield facility would also conduct surgical abortions.
Neither David Eisenberg nor Ronald Yeomans, who Planned Parenthood intends to employ at these two facilities, qualify for hospital privileges. To make matters worse, either facility can qualify for a hospital transfer agreement, which is much easier to get.
There is a motive for Planned Parenthood wanting to expand abortion services, and it has little to do with “women’s reproductive health.” Out of all services provided by Planned Parenthood, abortion is by far the most profitable.
However, abortions have steadily decreased over the years in Missouri as part of a nationwide trend. As demand drops, so do profits. That is why Planned Parenthood needs to cast their hooks into new ponds by marketing abortion to new population groups, which have heretofore gotten by just fine without abortion businesses preying upon them in their communities.
Kogut stated in her declaration to the court that because of Missouri abortion safety laws that prevent her from conducting abortions in Springfield and Joplin, “RHS and its physicians are injured in the pursuit of their business and professions…” (Emphasis added)
Kogut complains that as long as she and her abortionists are prevented by law from exploiting two proposed new locations, they suffer from inability to make more money, the pursuit of every business.
Her solution is not to raise her business to a standard that meets the law, but rather, she would dispense of the law altogether so their corners-cutting practices can continue. This puts Planned Parenthood’s profits above any consideration for patient safety.
When looking more closely the safety issues posed by the two Planned Parenthood organizations, it becomes clear that patient welfare is already a low priority.
David Eisenberg, who serves as RHCPP’s Medical Director, boasts in his declaration of his abortion experience, having trained at least 50 men and women how to do abortions. He informed the court that abortion is “one of the safest medical procedures” in the nation. He indicated a 2013 study noted that only 0.05% (5 in 10,000) of first trimester surgical abortion patients require hospitalization. (There were 5,416 abortions done in Missouri in 2013, the last year statistics are available from the Center for Disease Control, with abortions decreasing every year.)
However, Eisenberg quoted that complication statistic from a study done by Planned Parenthood abortionists, including Deborah Nucatola. She is on the staff of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which was recently referred to the Department of Justice by the Senate Judiciary Committee for further investigation for participation in the suspected illegal trafficking of aborted baby parts for profit.
Because of Nucatola’s employment with Planned Parenthood, which has a vested interest in making sure the public at least thinks abortion is safe, her study and others cited by Eisenberg are tainted by the bias of a pro-abortion agenda and lack credibility.
Eisenberg’s own record of overseeing abortions that result in life-threatening patient injuries that require hospitalization on the average of every 42 days – conservatively twice the complication rate he cited, not counting women who are hospitalized after they leave the abortion facility – speaks volumes about the lack of safety at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
While claiming to conduct “extremely safe” abortions at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, ambulance and injury records prove Eisenberg is simply lying to the court.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains
CHPP, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is seeking to expand the abortion business to Kansas City, Missouri, and Columbia. The Kansas City facility would offer medication abortions while the Columbia facility would offer medical and surgical abortions. Abortions would be done by Ronald Yeomans and Colleen McNicholas, who used to dispense the abortion pill in Columbia before a State Senate Committee discovered that her “refer and follow” hospital “privileges” were bogus, and simply an attempt to circumvent Missouri law. This led to the revocation of “refer and follow” designation and a halt to abortions in Columbia last year.
Such duplicity might have been expected from this particular Planned Parenthood organization.
In a 2007 case, CHPP faced 107 criminal counts in Kansas related to evidence they committed illegal late-term abortions and manufactured evidence to cover it up. Operation Rescue acquired documentation that indicates the criminal case against Planned Parenthood was dismissed due to political corruption. An unknown Planned Parenthood supporter inside the Democratically-controlled Attorney General’s office destroyed the evidence against Planned Parenthood, causing the case to be dismissed without ever being considered on its merits.
In the declaration made by Laura McQuade in support of the proposed injunction, she states that Planned Parenthood’s Columbia facility has offered surgical and/or medication abortions on and off for years, but has experienced difficulty maintaining a qualified abortionists because her abortion providers could not meet hospital privilege requirements.
McQuade launches into accusations that harassment from pro-life activists drove potential abortionists away, but Kathy Forck of TeamPlay, who routinely engages in peaceful First Amendment-protected activity at the Columbia Planned Parenthood, insists that the harassment described by McQuade ever took place.
“No one ever made harassing phone calls or followed anyone home. It just never happened,” said Forck.
“If McQuade is going to make accusations like that she needs to provide documentation to support them. I suspect there was no documentation presented because she is lying about it in order to gain sympathy from the court,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
But that isn’t the only falsehood in McQuade’s declaration. She also states that for many years in Columbia, her facility “safely provided” abortions.
However, a letter dated November 2, 2016, from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to CHPP detailed numerous violations affecting patient safety that were uncovered during an October 19, 2016, inspection of the Columbia facility.
Violations included a failure to “establish a program for identifying and preventing infections and for maintaining a safe environment.”
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If infection control and safety programs were nonexistent as of a few weeks ago, they could not have existed when abortions were previously done in Columbia.
At the Columbia Planned Parenthood, inspectors also discovered the facility lacked a proper quality assurance program. The one it did have had “removed elements required by Missouri rules some time before” related to the following:
• Intraoperative and postoperative complications. (For example, when complications occurred among Planned Parenthood’s patients, they were not logged and no follow-up action to prevent similar complications was ever recorded.)
• All cases that resulted in a length of stay of more than twelve (12) hours.
• All cases in which the gestational age was determined to be beyond eighteen (18) weeks.
The facility was required to “show evidence of actions taken as a result of the identification of the problems,” yet in Columbia, no problems were ever identified.
“This does not mean that no problems existed. It means that they did not record problems in a likely attempt to cover them up,” said Newman. “That means problems can exist there for a very long time, and that poses a real issue when it comes to patient safety.”
Other deficiencies existed. The Planned Parenthood facility failed to have the required preservative for fetal remains solution on site, and lacked adequate refrigerator space to preserve the aborted babies. It had no agreement with a pathologist for the examination of the remains as required by law or with a waste sterilizer company for the disposal of the human tissue.
The letter described serious infection control problems that displayed a sloppy, lazy attitude toward patient safety.
• It failed to have the necessary supplies to properly disinfect the vaginal ultrasound probe, leaving women vulnerable to infections and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
• No logs were kept to show that the autoclave was working properly or being used correctly.
“If these people can’t properly sterilize an instrument, then why in the world should they be allowed to conduct surgeries? What Planned Parenthood is really asking for is special favors so they can conduct shoddy, back-alley style abortions with contaminated surgical equipment without accountability,” said Newman.
Kansas City Inspection
The Kansas City facility was cited for numerous safety deficiencies that affect patient safety after an inspection was conducted on October 19, 2016.
• Vaginal speculums were never packaged for proper sterilization, and were stored in such a way as to ensure contamination.
• The facility used a dangerous disinfection room set up that allowed for cross contamination of surgical instruments.
• Failed to maintain policies for the disinfection of semi-critical instruments.
• There was no Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, gowns, etc.) available for use by staff in the Disinfection Room.
• Failed to follow safe medication practices by storing medications in the Disinfection Room where they were prone to contamination.
• Stored highly contaminated corrugated shipping boxes in the same room with the “sterilized” equipment, posing a high risk of cross contamination.
The facility was also cited for violating a 2010 Settlement Agreement, where CHPP agreed to basic minimum standards in exchange for permission to conduct abortions.
Both Planned Parenthood organizations complained to the court about having to maintain hallways wide enough to accommodate a gurney. They insist that this rule has no effect on patient safety.
The family of Karnamaya Mongar, among others, might disagree. In 2009, Mongar underwent a second trimester abortion at the West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Women’s Medical Society. Her abortionist, Kermit Gosnell, conducted abortions in unsanitary conditions with instruments (including the vaginal ultrasound probe) that were never properly sterilized. When Mongar went into cardiac arrest during her abortion due to a drug overdose, paramedics could not extract her from the building because no gurney would fit down the narrow hallways. An emergency exit was padlocked shut and no one could find the key. It is thought that the delay in emergency care caused by the narrow hallways contributed to Mongar’s death.
Gosnell was later convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter in Mongar’s death.
Conditions at Planned Parenthood in Columbia are frighteningly reminiscent on several points to those at Gosnell’s “House of Horrors.”
Shut Them Down
Instead of dumping patient safety laws so Planned Parenthood can expand its lucrative abortion business, the existing substandard facilities — the St. Louis facility in particular — should be shut down in the interest of public safety.
TeamPLAY has established a website WomenMustBeSafe.com, where there is an open letter that can be downloaded and sent to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, asking him to keep women safe from Planned Parenthood harmful practices.
Operation Rescue joins with Missouri’s TeamPLAY in calling for a thorough investigation into Planned Parenthood’s high number of abortion-related injuries, and for the immediate emergency suspension its St. Louis facility license, pending the outcome of a full investigation into patient safety issues.
1. Motion for Preliminary Injunction, 12/12/2016
2. Exhibit 1 – Declaration of Laura McQuade
3. Exhibit 2 – Declaration of Mary Kogut
4. Exhibit 3 – Declaration of David Eisenberg
5. Exhibit 4 – Declaration of Johannes (architect)
6. Exhibit 5 – Declaration of Katz (sociologist)
7. Exhibit 6 – Springfield Health Care Center v. Nixon
8. DHSS Letter of Deficiencies at Columbia, 11/2/2016
9. DHSS Letter of Deficiencies at Kansas City, 11/2/2016
10. 2010 Settlement Agreement with CHPP (formerly PPKM)
Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue.