Mizzou cancels contracts with Planned Parenthood; relationship with abortion doctor remains

The University of Missouri has severed some ties with Planned Parenthood, but the university's connection with a St. Louis abortion doctor remains in effect.

In the past month, since state legislators began investigating Planned Parenthood practices in Missouri, the university cancelled 10 contracts with Planned Parenthood clinics in four states where students earned clinical hours.

However, the university still has not revoked the "refer and follow" privileges it granted to Dr. Colleen McNicholas, a St. Louis doctor who performs medication abortions the Planned Parenthood in Columbia.

University of Missouri Health System spokeswoman Mary Jenkins said McNicholas was granted the privileges in December 2014 and to date, those privileges have not been used. With these privileges, McNicholas is only allowed to refer patients to MU Health Care facilities and view their medical records. She is not allowed to admit patients to MU Health facilities or perform abortions or any other procedures there.

Jenkins also noted that "consistent with state law, no pregnancy terminations have been performed in any MU Health Care facility or by any MU Health Care personnel, except to save the life of the mother. No outside physician may perform these procedures in our facility."

The Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state's bishops, applauded the university's decision to cancel contracts with Planned Parenthood, but work remains in getting Mizzou to completely sever itself from the abortion industry.

Mizzou "should revoke the hospital privileges of abortion doctor Colleen McNicholas," according to the statement. "Only in this way can MU ensure that it is not aiding and abetting the abortion industry. MU should not look the other way when abortions are being performed at Columbia's Planned Parenthood, which could not be performed there without the blessing of the University of Missouri."

Mike Hoey, executive director of the MCC, was among those who testified at this week's Senate committee hearing investigating Planned Parenthood's practices.

"I have family who attended and graduated from Mizzou," Hoey said at the hearing. "This is personal for me. The people of Missouri don't want their tax dollars going toward abortion. If Mizzou wants to get out of the abortion business, they can figure out how to do it."

MCC general counsel Tyler McClay said more than 800 people to date have responded to the MCC's plea to contact MU chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and the university's board of curators and urge them to get out of the abortion business. McClay said this is the biggest response the conference has received on an issue in a long time. (See www.mocatholic.org for more information.) 

No votes yet