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Columbia Lab Part Of Planned Parenthood Investigation

Paul Sableman
CC BY 2.0

Missouri health officials said Friday an ongoing investigation into reported abortion complications is the reason they’ve withheld a license for the last clinic performing abortions in the state.

The Department of Health and Senior Services says it’s still seeking answers from the clinic about why patients were unaware that they remained pregnant after what the officials described as "failed surgical abortions."

In a statement, Planned Parenthood accused state officials of fearmongering, and maintained it has “bent over backwards to cooperate with [the department].”

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, an OBGYN for Planned Parenthood said, "This diversionary tactic by Gov. Parson’s Department of Health and Senior Services proves what we’ve long said -- the department is treating Planned Parenthood differently in the inspection process." She alleged DHSS Director Randall Williams didn't understand the procedure, and accused him of using the investigation to get abortion banned in Missouri. 

The state says it was waiting to release this information until a Columbia lab Planned Parenthood contracted regained accreditation, which it did yesterday.

Boyce and Bynum Professional Services handles fetal tissue for Planned Parenthood and lost its accreditation as a result of the state’s investigation.  

The state is still investigating the clinic but has been unable to interview some physicians. Planned Parenthood has said those physicians are not staffers, so it can't force them to cooperate.

Sebastián Martínez Valdivia was a health reporter at KBIA and is documentary filmmaker who focuses on access to care in rural and immigrant communities. A native Spanish speaker and lifelong Missouri resident, Sebastián is interested in the often overlooked and under-covered world of immigrant life in the rural midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri and a master's degree in documentary journalism at the same institution. Aside from public health, his other interests include conservation, climate change and ecology.
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