Missouri Right to Life
Post Office Box 651
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone 573-635-5110
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Education, legislating, and activating citizens in the cause of life

TESTIMONY OF MISSOURI RIGHT TO LIFE
BEFORE THE HOUSE
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES COMMITTEE
IN SUPPORT OF HB 194

February 28, 2017

TESTIMONY OF MISSOURI RIGHT TO LIFE
IN SUPPORT OF HB 194

 

RE:  Annual On-Site Abortion Clinic Inspections
I am here on behalf of Missouri Right to Life to testify in support of HB 194, the Women’s Health Care Protection bill. Women in this country have suffered through 44 years of legalized abortion and the grief, pain, anguish and regret that has accompanied it.  The physical health risks from abortion include infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, endotoxic shock, pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, future premature births and labor complications as well as increased risks of ovarian, cervical and even breast cancer. Additionally, women who have had abortions have much higher rates of depression and suicide than the general population.
Despite all these health problems, the advocates of abortion promote abortion as good for women’s health. As a woman, I am offended by the abortion industry’s claim that opposition to abortion equates to a war on women. Abortion is totally contrary to women’s health!
The abortion industry promotes legalized abortion, claiming it should be safe, legal and rare. Sadly, the only thing legalizing abortion did is make it legal. Since Roe v. Wade, abortion numbers have skyrocketed. So much for rare. And the law did nothing to guaranty that abortions are safe. The abortion supporters claimed that legalization would eliminate the back-alley, coat-hanger abortions. But legalization came without regulation. All legalization did was take the abortionist out of hiding.  The abortionist did not change his method or procedures.
This is evidenced by the case of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell who performed his abortions in filthy conditions on blood-stained tables with unsterile equipment. Then he would snip babies spinal cords in their neck to kill them when they were born alive, and he would keep the babies remains in jars all around the facility. And his is not an isolated case. Witness the Houston, Texas abortionist Douglas Karpen who twists the heads off the necks of born alive babies. Is this a surprise in an industry that kills babies for profit?
Gosnell went decades with no inspections before his horrors were finally made public. Here in Missouri, inspections at the abortion mill in St. Louis have not been consistent. And, when it has been inspected deficiencies have been found.  The DHSS conducted an inspection in January, 2013. In that inspection, the following deficiencies were cited: 1. Rusty equipment, 2. Filthy, dusty conditions. 3. Retention and use of expired drugs, 4. Failure to train employees, 5. Failure to do background checks on employees and more.
The negligent operation at the St. Louis abortion mill has resulted in at least 60 ambulance visits to the mill since June, 2009.    The Womens Health Care Protection bill will require annual inspections of abortion mills in the state of Missouri. Hopefully, those inspections will insure that these abortion facilities will meet normal medical standards required by all surgery centers additional ambulance visits.
RE:  Illegal Selling and Buying of Baby Body Parts

Thank the Senate Interim Committee on Sanctity of Life and the House Children and Families Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee for the hearings that were held last year on the investigations of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue procurement practices.  Current practices employed by Planned Parenthood and other tissue procurement companies, aside from being ethically and morally repugnant, appear to be illegal.

The hearings held in Washington D.C. by Congress also produced information showing that Planned Parenthood did participate in unethical and illegal buying and selling of baby body parts. 

The content of the videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress was disturbing, to say the least, and they certainly suggest violations of the law on the part of Planned Parenthood and their baby body-part buyers.  The fact that Planned Parenthood in these videos admitted to the following atrocious acts suggests illegal activity.

1.  They are engaged in negotiating market value pricing for the baby body parts or the whole intact body where the law allows only the recovery of costs. Costs are set so the only purpose of negotiated pricing would be to increase profit on the sale which is illegal under federal statute and Section 188.036(5) RSMo.

2.  Abortion procedures are altered from the norm in order to procure the requested organs intact which results in greater risk to the woman having the abortion and this is often done without the knowledge or consent of the woman in violation of Missouri’s informed consent statute Section 188.027 RSMo.

3.  Planned Parenthood’s efforts  to meet the research industries desire for intact whole baby bodies suggests that Planned Parenthood is engaged in performing illegal partial-birth abortions and is possibly engaged in infanticide which is murder in the second degree under Missouri law Section 188.035 RSMo.

With the pressure to obtain suitable fetal tissue for researchers, comes the pressure to deliver an intact and potentially living child.   There is ample evidence that researchers support harvesting tissue from live born infants.  Recorded comments made by employees of Planned Parenthood and tissue procurement employees raises justifiable concerns that infants are born alive after an induced abortion at Planned Parenthood and then killed to harvest their tissue. 

Based on the conflicting testimony by the Pathology Lab Director last year (in the Missouri House Committee investigations) that receives some of the body parts of an aborted baby from Planned Parenthood and the fact that aborted babies from Missouri were found in Indianapolis, IN it is still unknown what happens with all the baby body parts from abortions in Missouri. The oversight of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has been abysmal as it has failed to conduct consistent and regular physical inspections of the clinics over the years.  Further, former Director of the Department Gail Vasterling, admitted to the Senate Sanctity of Life Committee and the interim Acting Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Peter Lyskowski, admitted that the department does not know what is done with the baby bodies or body parts from abortions done by Planned Parenthood in Missouri even though the Department is supposed to receive a pathology report on each aborted baby.  There is no accounting of the bodies of babies killed by abortion in Missouri.  And, there are questions about the final disposal of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood baby body parts from abortions with the recent fines of a medical waste facility, MedAssure, located in Indianapolis, IN.

Abortion itself is repugnant to our society which is dedicated to “equal justice under the law.”   When you add the selling and buying of these baby bodies and body parts for research it is even more unfathomable.  We cannot have “equal justice” if some human individuals have the right to their lives and others do not.  We cannot have a just society if some humans are violated and used for the benefit of others more powerful than they.

As a humane society, we cannot divorce the killing of innocent human lives for scientific research from moral principles.  Many advocates of fetal tissue research argue that the use of human fetal tissue is good for society as a whole and has the potential to help eliminate diseases; therefore, it is justified.  However, this goes against an important principle of our society, that a person may not kill one for the benefit of another.

If a woman is conflicted about whether or not to have an abortion, knowledge of the potential utility of the dead baby has the potential to tip the balance.  Further, studies have shown that women consider outside needs and desires when considering whether or not to abort their child.  This research would add another level of pressure to an already vulnerable woman.  The only way to avoid encouragement of abortions is to eliminate research using human fetal tissue from induced abortions.  Missouri saw fit to prohibit fetal experimentation by any person in Section 188.037 RSMo.  

We fear the use of human fetal tissue for research and the increased pressure to harvest and even create more fetal tissue would be an incentive for more abortions.  The research industries appetite for suitable fetal tissue and their willingness to pay top dollar for tissue, organs and whole bodies of unborn babies has created a seller’s market where Planned Parenthood is demanding top dollar from procurement companies for specimens collected from abortion.

The idea that this would never happen in Missouri is preposterous given the testimonies given to the Senate Sanctity of Life Committee, the House Children and Families Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee last year and the video evidence of Planned Parenthood’s actions and the findings of the Congressional investigations of Planned Parenthood.  The 471 page final report of the Congressional Select Investigative Panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee can be found here:  https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/Select_Investigative_Panel_Final_Report.pdf
This evidence demands that we pass legislation to ensure that selling and buying baby bodies and body parts from abortions is not done in Missouri.

RE:  Whistleblower Protection for Abortion Clinic Employees

Missouri Right to Life also supports changing the laws regarding disclosures by employees of facilities involved in the handling of fetal remains from an elective abortion. The bill requires each hospital, ambulatory surgical center, pathology lab, medical research entity, and disposal facility involved in such activities to establish and implement a written policy relating to the protections for employees who in good faith disclose facility mismanagement, fraudulent activity, or violations of applicable federal or state laws or administrative rules concerning abortions or the handling of fetal remains. Such policy must include a time frame for completion of investigations

Missouri Right to Life supports these issues on the Women’s Health Care Protection bill and urges passage of all components.

 

 

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