Abortion Industry Slams Bill Targeting Ambulance Calls to Clinics

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The abortion industry is condemning a Missouri bill that would make it a criminal offense for abortion clinic workers to interfere with emergency medical assistance when abortions result in serious medical problems for patients.

The bill, possibly the first one of its kind in the nation, would make it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison or a $2,000 fine, for abortion clinic staff to make special requests of emergency assistance, such as requesting ambulances arrive without sirens or lights to avoid drawing attention to the emergency:

“This language has nothing [to do] with the health and safety of women,” Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, said Friday, according to the Associated Press (AP). “It has everything to do with trying to trap providers as a way to trip them up, and shut down clinics that way.”

Mary Kogut, president of the Planned Parenthood affiliate in St. Louis, however, admitted there were “times where we may have asked that the siren wasn’t on so that it didn’t alarm other people,” but said her facility has already dropped the procedure.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, called a special legislative session in June to focus on protecting women’s health in abortion facilities and supporting pro-life pregnancy centers that frequently are attacked by the abortion industry and its allies in both the media and government.

“If any of the governor’s proposals improved health and safety for our patients, we would be the first in line to endorse them,” Kogut told AP. “Regrettably, the governor seems more interested in creating additional unnecessary restrictions against abortion providers and patients.”

However, Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby have persistently condemned laws that require abortion clinics to maintain the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical facilities, claiming they interfere with women’s right to abortion.

Pro-life organization Live Action reported in June that “a woman has been transported by ambulance” from the St. Louis Planned Parenthood “every six weeks, on average, since 2009.”

The report continues:

The St. Louis Planned Parenthood has also received multiple Statement of Deficiency Reports from state health inspectors. Over half of the violations “related to failure to provide a safe and sanitary environment.” In January, Live Action News reported that “inspections ‘took place in 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2016’ but 61 percent of the 210 incidents occurred just last year, in 2016.”

The proposed provision targeting ambulance calls is part of a larger bill that specifically addresses abortion issues following the approval of an “abortion sanctuary” law in St. Louis that Greitens says discriminates against pregnancy centers.

The ordinance, which was enacted in February, essentially extends “protected class status” to any individual who advocates for abortion, states the Thomas More Society, which filed a lawsuit in May against the city for violating the First Amendment rights of faith groups and others who run pro-life pregnancy centers.

Sarah Pitlyk, Thomas More Society special counsel, explained the ordinance and its ramifications:

The city has taken the protections typically granted to prevent discrimination for “race, age, religion, sex or disability” and applied them to those who have made or expect to make “reproductive health decisions,” where “reproductive health decisions” is so overbroad as to include any decision that is any way related to contraceptive use or abortion. The law would therefore force nonprofit organizations like Our Lady’s Inn, whose mission is to promote and facilitate abortion alternatives, to hire abortion advocates, despite their opposition to the ministry’s reason for existence.

In a Facebook video announcing the special legislative session, Greitens said:

In the city of St. Louis, some of these pregnancy care centers are under attack. There’s a new city law making St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city—where pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. Politicians are trying to make it illegal, for example, for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians.

The Senate had a bill to address this during the session—but they failed to act. We’re calling a special session to support the people doing this vital work to help women and children.

I also believe that we should have common sense health and safety standards in all medical facilities. A court decision from earlier this year weakened our state’s health standards in abortion clinics. So we’re also proposing some basic, common sense standards to keep Missourians safe.

We’re proposing, for example, that abortion clinics should have an annual safety inspection.

We’re proposing that these clinics should have a plan for complications.

And we’re proposing a fix that will stop abortion clinics from interfering with emergency responders. If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn’t be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly–to not use their lights and sirens–or to go around to the back gate just because they are worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad.

Greitens also recently called out the liberal media for reporting “fake news” on conservative views of abortion and contraception:

A retired Navy SEAL who commanded an al-Qaeda targeting team in Fallujah in 2007, Greitens tweeted late last week, “The liberal media is spreading lies about conservatives in Missouri. It’s literally fake news.”

Greitens says in the accompanying video:

What I want to show you is how the liberal media reported on what we did.

Newsweek had a headline that said, “Use of Birth Control Could Cause Missouri Women to Lose Jobs and Housing.”

Feministing.com wrote that “Missouri Votes to Let Employers Fire People Who Use Birth Control.”

And the San Francisco Gate said that “if Missouri lawmakers have their way, landlords will be able to evict tenants for having an abortion, getting pregnant while unmarried, or even simply using birth control.”

Now, here’s the thing about this: this is 100 percent false. This is actual fake news. They just made it up. Here’s the thing: when we asked Newsweek to actually read the bill, they had to report that they erroneously reported, as had Bustle, the Associated Press, and Feministing:

Greitens was raised as a Truman Democrat, Breitbart News reported in July of 2016. Though the mainstream media applauded his commencement address at Tufts University in 2012, when he entered the 2016 gubernatorial race in Missouri as a Republican, the media tide turned against him.

National pro-life leaders are praising the Missouri governor.

“The Greitens administration recently moved to enforce a longstanding law requiring abortion businesses to report abortion emergencies resulting in women being removed from the facility by ambulance,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Local pro-life activists in St. Louis have observed women being taken away by ambulance at least 66 times since 2009. Clearly, Gov. Greitens understands the urgency here and that the lives of women and children are on the line. We urge the state legislature to address these matters quickly.”

Susan Klein, legislative liaison for Missouri Right to Life, referred to the measure as a “life-saving bill to protect women, unborn babies and reaffirm our religious liberties so that Pregnancy Resource Centers and Faith Communities from all denominations are not forced to participate in abortion.”

“While these bills failed to pass during the regular session, Gov. Greitens has stepped forward to bring them back for passage by the pro-life majorities in our House and Senate,” Klein added. “We look forward to working with Governor Greitens and the legislature during this special call to session.”


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