An attempt to institute an eight-foot buffer zone around an abortion facility considered America’s “most dangerous” has failed… for now.
Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri has sent nearly 70 women to area hospitals since 2009 — an average of one every six weeks. Pro-lifers maintain a daily presence on the public sidewalk just outside the facility, located on a busy street mere blocks away from the highly esteemed Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The medical director for the dangerous Planned Parenthood facility is Washington University physician Dr. David Eisenberg, whose lack of familiarity with basic hygiene procedures such as hand washing between glove changes and negligence in reporting abortion complications led the health department to cite the facility for health violations in 2017.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nine aldermen on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted for the ban, while 15 aldermen voted against banning pro-life sidewalk counselors from the public sidewalk. The Dispatch also notes that the controversial proposal “won initial approval in February on a narrow 15-13 vote,” but:
… Two former yes votes were absent Monday, and several others changed their initial vote in wake of concerns that the bill would have unintended consequences on other protesters throughout the city who might march in the streets or block roads to get their point across.
“You can’t pick and choose who can protest. It’s the First Amendment for everyone,” said Alderman Pam Boyd, 27th Ward.
The Riverfront Times adds:
The effort to pass a buffer zone law has already lasted several sessions — a previous version of the bill failed to pass committee last year. But this year’s version, sponsored by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, seemed poised for break-through. In February, it garnered first-round approval of the full committee by a fifteen to thirteen vote. When the NARAL-endorsed Annie Rice was sworn into office just days later, the votes seemed to be all set.
But today, the vote broke in the other direction. Four former “yes” votes failed to cast votes today, and four other members — north-city aldermen Lisa Middlebrook, Brandon Bosley, Sam Moore and Terry Kennedy — flipped their votes to “no.”
The sponsor of the measure, Alderman Christine Ingrassia, stated, “There’s a balance of constitutional rights here. One is the right for free speech, which we want to be able to respect. The other is a right for women to access health care.” NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri spokeswoman Alison Dreith added, “St. Louis had an opportunity to prove that cities can lead the resistance against the anti-choice agenda of the Trump and Greitens administrations, but we failed to pass this proactive measure. Women in St. Louis rely on Planned Parenthood to receive high-quality, low-cost healthcare, and they deserve to access this care free of harassment and deception.”
But Dreith failed to note any instances of harassment or deception that have occurred at the facility. Alderman Ingrassia told the Post-Dispatch that discussion over such a measure “will continue into the next session,” meaning officials will continue to attempt to restrict the free speech of pro-lifers on the public sidewalks outside abortion businesses in Missouri.
If women are looking for “high quality… healthcare,” perhaps Planned Parenthood — especially this particularly dangerous Planned Parenthood — isn’t the place to find it. Actual healthcare services at Planned Parenthood have long been on the decline. Abortions, however, have increased.
The St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility is currently the only abortion facility in Missouri. Recent plans to expand abortion pill access to two other Planned Parenthood facilities in Joplin and Springfield failed due to “numerous violations of licensing regulations.”