“67 women in white, representing the 67 women taken by ambulance from the St. Louis Planned Parenthood since 2009.”
Those are the words of Reagan Barklage, Western Regional Director of Students for Life of America, discussing a protest which took place this week outside Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, which is a record-breaking Planned Parenthood facility — for all the wrong reasons.
67 ambulance calls have been made from this abortion facility since 2009 — more than any other facility in the country (one medical emergency approximately every six weeks on average) — leading pro-life group Operation Rescue to label this abortion facility “the most dangerous” in the country.
For quite some time, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region was also the only abortion facility operating in the state of Missouri.
Health and safety violations
A health inspection conducted at the facility on May 25, 2017, showed the following health and safety violations, among many, many others:
- Lack of hand washing between glove changes
- Contamination of sterile gloves before performing procedures (handling cell phones, touching face, putting hands in pockets)
- Improperly removing soiled medical instruments and violating infection protocol (blood and rust on abortion tables, etc.)
Stunningly, the medical director of this facility, Dr. David Eisenberg, also a nearby Washington University physician, questioned whether hand washing between glove changes “was a new standard.”
Operation Rescue obtained “five Statement of Deficiency Reports that show Missouri state inspectors have cited the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in St. Louis, Missouri, for 39 classes of violations involving 210 incidents – 53% (111) of which were related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.”
A Missouri Senate review of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis found “troubling discrepancies… concerning the sale of fetal tissue” along with a “shocking indifference to women’s health, possibly constituting medical malpractice,” including “a deliberate effort to discourage women from seeking treatment at a hospital emergency room,” along with other problems:
- 911 is either not listed on consent forms or listed in smaller font than Planned Parenthood’s own “emergency” number
- Patients passing blood clots “large than the size of a lemon” are instructed to call Planned Parenthood’s emergency number instead of 911.
- Women are instructed to call Planned Parenthood if they are worried and think they should go to the emergency room.
- Women are told to only call 911 if they don’t hear back from Planned Parenthood within 20 minutes.
The Missouri Senate review also found “an effort to keep any medical emergencies at Planned Parenthood concealed”:
- Staff are told to request “no sirens” if it becomes necessary to call 911 for a patient (which can delay paramedics).
- Staff are instructed not to tell paramedics that the reason for the call is abortion-related.
- Staff are instructed to keep EMS personnel out of the abortion procedure room.
- Staff are told to use a banner to shield patients from the view of protesters outside the facility.
Operation Rescue had to sue the St. Louis Fire Department just to obtain the 911 records for 58 emergency calls from Planned Parenthood. OR notes the reasons for those calls:
… [H]emorrhage of a dangerous or possibly dangerous nature was the most common complication with 23 reported incidents.
Medical problems for which ambulances were dispatched to Planned Parenthood included the following:
• Abdominal Pain – 2 incidents
• Allergic Reaction – 1 incident
• Fainting (Alert and Not Alert) – 6 incidents
• Fall – 4 incidents
• Hemorrhage (Dangerous or Possibly Dangerous) – 23 incidents
• Interfacility Emergency – 4 incidents
• Pregnancy Unknown Status – 2 incidents
• Psychiatric/Suicidal – 3 incidents
• Seizure – 3 incidents
• Sick – 5 incidents
• Stroke – 1 incident
• Unconscious Person – 1 incident
Ambulances were also called for three incidents of serious bleeding, one of which took place in the third trimester of pregnancy, indicating that late-term abortions are being done at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood.
Today, the number of emergency calls is up to 67 for this single Planned Parenthood location. And this past week, the earlier mentioned group of 67 women in white, one for each ambulance call, gathered in front of Planned Parenthood of St. Louis to draw attention to this dangerous facility. They held signs featuring the dates of the ambulance calls and the reasons for those calls.
Women should be warned that they are not safe when they walk through Planned Parenthood’s doors. Women should be warned that the City of St. Louis has fought to silence information about the horrible conditions at this Planned Parenthood facility.
Women deserve better.