Missouri has long been trying to shut down the state’s sole abortion facility, a Planned Parenthood with a long history of injuring women. But the state has faced another setback, as a federal judge not only ruled against the state of Missouri, but also ordered the state to pay Planned Parenthood’s legal fees.
In 2019, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services did not renew the license for the facility, Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood. Almost immediately, however, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi issued a stay, allowing the facility to remain open indefinitely. After many delays, Dandamudi again allowed the Planned Parenthood facility to remain open.
This launched a legal battle which has lasted for years, as Attorney General Eric Schmitt and the state of Missouri have continued to try to shut the facility down. But in a ruling issued last Friday, Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem ruled that the state must pay Planned Parenthood nearly $200,000 in legal fees. Planned Parenthood was awarded $140,000 in attorney fees in March of 2021, with Beetem ordering the state to pay an additional $8,000.
Yet what remains unacknowledged is the grisly history of this Planned Parenthood facility. At least 75 women have been injured there, with at least four suffering life-threatening injuries, with the body parts of their aborted children left inside of them. One woman nearly bled to death when a Planned Parenthood abortionist proceeded with committing an abortion, even though the patient’s cervix was partly covered by her placenta (placenta previa).
A Senate investigation likewise found numerous health and safety violations, including numerous instances of women having to return as many as five times for a single abortion procedure to be completed. Staff also instructed women not to call 911 if they experienced complications.
“[P]lanned Parenthood’s own internal files reveal a shocking callousness toward vulnerable young women who seek their services. In fact, the procedures outlined in the materials reviewed may very well constitute outright medical malpractice,” the Senate report read, concluding, “All of this indicates that Planned Parenthood is far more worried about the reputation, business model and public relations efforts than they are about the women in their care. It is difficult to conceive of any other organization, let alone an organization that holds itself out as providing women’s health services, being so recklessly indifferent to the health of their patients as to put such directives as those listed above in print for the use of their employees.”
Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, celebrated the judge’s ruling in a statement. “This is yet another proof point of how costly it is for Missourians when politicians insist on unlawful and politically motivated attacks on abortion,” she said. “These legal fees represent wasted time and resources that could’ve been used to improve access to health care, maternal mortality, and a crumbling public health system.”
Despite this setback, Missouri state lawmakers are working to defund Planned Parenthood, so taxpayers will at the very least not be forced to continue to pay for this dangerous abortion facility.
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