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Mo. Affiliate Declines Conservatives' Documents Request

December 14, 2015 — Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri will not hand over abortion-related documents subpoenaed by state lawmakers, citing patient privacy as well as other concerns, AP/Modern Healthcare reports.

Conservative lawmakers in Missouri established a Senate committee to investigate abortion practices in the state after the videos targeting Planned Parenthood were released. The committee subpoenaed abortion-related records from Planned Parenthood.

In response, Planned Parenthood in a letter to state Senate president pro tem Ron Richard (R) said providing documentation for any incidents in which an ambulance was called would violate federal law on patient privacy. Planned Parenthood also questioned the state Senate's authority to issue subpoenas on private organizations. In addition, the organization noted there is an "increased concern over the sensitivity of abortion-related records," especially after a recent fatal shooting incident at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

Meanwhile, Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, stated that Planned Parenthood's clinic in St. Louis, the only Planned Parenthood facility in the state that provides abortion care, does not donate fetal tissue. She also cited a review by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) that found the organization did not commit any wrongdoing, noting that Planned Parenthood "believe[s] the issue has been resolved."

State Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R), who chairs the committee investigating abortion practices, said the full state Senate would determine how to proceed (AP/Modern Healthcare, 12/13).