On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer threw out the subpoenas issued by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for four abortionists who have worked at the unsafe Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood — Missouri’s only abortion facility. The abortionists had been subpoenaed due to the facility’s failure to comply with the health department’s regulations. Stelzer also reset the preliminary injunction hearing to June 5, 2019.
The abortionists “have shown that compliance with the subpoenas would present an undue burden and hardship,” said Stelzer. He ordered the subpoenas to be “quashed.”
RHS Planned Parenthood failed a health inspection in March 2019 (adding to its growing list of failed inspections) and refused to comply with Missouri laws and regulations to correct some of those failings. The DHSS requested interviews with seven abortionists from the facility but five of them refused to be interviewed. The DHSS, therefore, stated that it would not renew RHS Planned Parenthood’s license as a result of its noncompliance. The license was set to expire on May 31, but Stelzer issued a temporary restraining order allowing the facility to continue to operate until after a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 4. Stelzer then pushed that hearing until June 5.
There have been 74 documented ambulance calls to this facility, according to reports by Operation Rescue. The facility has been cited for failing to follow even basic standards of practice such as proper hand hygiene. It has also been caught using expired medications and supplies, failing to properly sterilize instruments between patients, and failure to train employees on infection control procedures, among other health standard violations. Each of these failures leaves the patients’ health at serious risk.
It is important to note that the DHSS’s decision to not renew RHS Planned Parenthood’s license has nothing to do with the recently-passed eight-week abortion ban in the state, and everything to do with the facility’s deliberate refusal to comply with the laws put in place to keep patients safe.
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