By Bob Allen
Southern Baptists in Missouri renewed calls for annual inspections at the state’s only abortion clinic after a controversial video exposé of Planned Parenthood mentioned St. Louis as a possible location to obtain fetal tissue.
Susan Klein, legislative liaison for Missouri Right to Life, urged Missouri Baptists to contact their state legislators in the House and Senate and ask them to pass an “abortion clinic inspection bill” requiring at least annual inspections of Planned Parenthood facilities in comments quoted by The Pathway, official news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
“Missouri Right to Life has all along said that the abortion industry is a supplier of baby body parts for the research industry,” Klein said. “We need to know the ties between the abortion facility and the research industry in the state of Missouri … and make sure that there is not a big push on increasing the number of abortions.”
In a secretly recorded interview released in mid-July by The Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood Senior Director for Medical Services Deborah Nucatola told actors posing as buyers from a human biologics company that Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis clinic could be a good source for infant organs.
“Both Gulf Coast and Greater Texas have pretty well developed structures and pretty independent surgical services, and people in academic research,” Nucatola said in the first of three videos released so far by the Irvine, Calif.,-based nonprofit devoted to citizen journalism. “One other place I would consider, that you’re not thinking about possibly, is St. Louis.”
Nucatola went on to identify Dr. David Eisenberg, medical director of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and assistant professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, by name.
“I think that’s definitely worth your while,” Nucatola continued. “And just looking at the map, if there was one place that was untapped, I would say St. Louis.”
That mention prompted protests outside Planned Parenthood clinics in St. Louis and Columbia, Mo., and in Overland Park, Kan., and promises from politicians they will investigate whether Planned Parenthood broke any laws.
“I think the tie to St. Louis that comes out in the video is of great concern to Missourians and really makes us want to pass this abortion clinic inspection bill and put it in statute even more so,” Klein told The Pathway.
Current law requires the Department of Health and Senior Services to inspect the more than 100 licensed ambulatory surgical centers providing outpatient surgical services across the state “as it deems necessary.”
In February the Missouri House of Representatives passed legislation requiring annual inspection of ambulatory surgical centers performing any second- or third-trimester abortions, or five or more first-trimester abortions. The measure would have applied to just one location — the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis — but it died in the Senate.
Pathway Editor Don Hinkle, who also directs the state convention’s public policy activities, said in an editorial that passing the abortion clinic inspection law “should be the first order of business when General Assembly members return in January.”
“Former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt waged war on Planned Parenthood a decade ago and — with the help of a Republican majority in the General Assembly — nearly ran the cruel organization out of the state,” Hinkle said. “Southern Baptists and Catholics have partnered with pro-life groups like Missouri Right to Life to successfully push for abortion restrictions, making Missouri staunchly pro-life.”
On the national level, Hinkle said Congress should defund Planned Parenthood. “It needs to happen,” he said. “It is a disgrace that Americans pay for such subhuman cruelty.”
“Meanwhile, congressional Democrats and the Obama Justice Department are calling for — of all things — an investigation of the Center for Medical Progress, which exposed Planned Parenthood’s body parts barbarity,” Hinkle lamented. “Unbelievably, Planned Parenthood’s president whines they are the victims.”
“What about all the dead babies?” Hinkle asked. “There will be no life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for them — victims of atrocities.”