Cover-up? Judge seals botched abortion records from Missouri Planned Parenthood

St. Louis Planned Parenthood

Update June 19, 2019: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has filed a motion to unseal a Statement of Deficiencies and an accompanying letter which was sealed by order of Judge Michael Stelzer at the request of Planned Parenthood.

The DHSS did not renew the license of Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis after it failed to comply with certain requests concerning the safety of its patients after failed health inspections. Stelzer sealed the documents containing information on botched abortions at the facility that caused serious injury to four women. In all, at least 74 women were injured at the Planned Parenthood location.

“It’s clear that RHS Planned Parenthood was attempting to hide the incriminating information contained in the report because it completely destroys their arguments that they provide safe abortions and are being somehow wrongly persecuted by the DHSS,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The Statement of Deficiencies, which was obtained by Operation Rescue and can be read here, shows that some women had to go through multiple abortion attempts for the same pregnancy because abortionists at RHS Planned Parenthood botched the abortions. RHS Planned Parenthood claims that releasing the Statement of Deficiencies to the public would be a violation of state law, except, as Operation Rescue points out, Missouri Law states the opposite, saying that Statements of Deficiencies “shall be made available to the public.”

Planned Parenthood also claims that releasing the information on how horrific their facility has been would violate HIPAA privacy laws but no personal information is in the statement.

“This is a page from Planned Parenthood’s standard playbook,” said Newman. “They threaten agencies with raw speculation about HIPAA violations in order to intimidate the agency to keep their secrets about botched abortions and other abuses.”

June 18, 2019: In a shocking move that appears to be a cover-up attempt to protect RHS Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri, and its abortionists, Judge Michael F. Stelzer has sealed documents attached to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services motion known as “Exhibit A,” which contains multiple damning pieces of information about the facility, including serious deficiencies on the part of the abortionists. It appears that Judge Stelzer sealed Exhibit A at the request of RHS Planned Parenthood.

Pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue is reporting that Judge Stelzer, who kept Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis open despite the expiration of its license, has denied a motion on behalf of the DHSS asking that the Court reconsider or amend the Preliminary Injunction he issued on June 10, 2019. Multiple botched abortions, serious injuries to women, and failure to follow basic protocol expected of any medical facility followed by a complete refusal to be interviewed by the Department of Health show that RHS Planned Parenthood has zero interest in protecting and helping women.


RHS Planned Parenthood’s license was not renewed by DHSS because of the facility’s failure to comply with safety laws after failing multiple inspections – including failures in protecting women. In fact, there are at least 74 women known to have been injured at the facility — and at least four previously unknown women who suffered from seriously botched abortions at the hands of RHS Planned Parenthood abortionists, including one who nearly lost her life. The now-sealed Exhibit A includes a letter stating that RHS Planned Parenthood’s non-cooperation with the investigation is “unprecedented and untenable,” as well as a Statement of Deficiencies.

READ: Head of ‘dangerous’ Missouri Planned Parenthood downplays failed inspections

Not only did Stelzer seal the evidence that shows women are not safe at RHS Planned Parenthood, but he also quashed subpoenas issued by DHSS for nine staff members and abortionists from RHS who were involved in those four botched abortions. Then he sealed those subpoenas to protect the identities of those staff members and doctors who were involved in causing serious injury to patients.

Despite the apparent efforts to hide the truth, Operation Rescue has copies of Exhibit A, which it received on June 14 and published on June 15, before Stelzer sealed it. The Statement of Deficiencies details the botched abortions of the four women and says that RHS Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director Michael Eisenberg and abortionist Colleen McNicholas lied and misled DHSS investigators during questioning. Operation Rescue was also able to learn the names of the abortionists whom the DHSS wanted to question.

In light of all this information, it appears that Judge Stelzer is doing the bidding of Planned Parenthood at the expense of women’s safety. Any and every woman who walks into RHS Planned Parenthood has the right to know that the facility is not only unlicensed but that it has a history of causing serious harm to women — including causing life-threatening infections. Women have a right to know if the abortionist they are putting their trust in has seriously injured other women during botched abortions. Sealing these records does nothing to protect the safety or wellbeing of women.

It does, however, protect the abortionists by sealing their names along with the documents that reveal the truth about Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry as a whole.

READ: Investigation report: Missouri Planned Parenthood had ‘multiple’ failed abortions

“It is in the public’s interest to know who is harming women at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood and why this is being taken so seriously by the Missouri agency tasked with protecting the public,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The fact that RHS Planned Parenthood is working so hard to keep its abortionists from talking and to keep incriminating information from the public proves that they are trying to cover up dangerous practices that could potentially shut them down and cost abortionists their medical licenses.”

Judge Stelzer said that the status conference set in the preliminary injunction order will take place as planned on June 21, 2019, and the Court said that DHSS must rule on RHS Planned Parenthood’s license application by that same date.

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