Protestors and supporters of Planned Parenthood lined the sidewalks of Providence Road outside the Columbia clinic Saturday morning. Protesters from groups like 40 Days for Life came out from across the state as part of a national day of protest. Kathy Forck, the organizer of the protest, said over 300 rallies were held around the country.
The Columbia Planned Parenthood has recently received more attention since it began offering medication abortion services August 3. The clinic expects to begin surgical abortions in early 2016. The Columbia and St. Louis Planned Parenthoods are the only clinics in the state that offer abortion services.
But even with the increase attention and opposition, Aaron Samulcek, the Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said they’re staying positive.
“We’ve seen an increased presence in protesters, but also in our supporters,” Samulcek said.
Kathy Forck, read a letter from State Senator Kurt Schafer, who could not attend the event, at the protest. He wrote that his goal is “uncovering, exposing and punishing” Planned Parenthood for its violations of state laws.
Schafer is currently the chairman of the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, whose purpose is to investigate how Planned Parenthood uses it’s funding and how it disposes of fetuses.
Mary Hoffmeyer participated in the protest with 40 Days for Life. She said she supports Schafer and the commission’s investigation into the legality of the clinic’s services.
“The doctor who is doing the abortions doesn’t actually have admitting privileges at any hospital within 30 miles, which is a state law,” Hoffmeyer said.
Samulcek said these allegations were false.
“We at PPKM follow all laws and we have the highest medical and ethical standards,” he said.
The Commission on the Sanctity of Life is set to meet on Tuesday.