Missouri state legislators are closer to learning what goes on behind the scenes at Planned Parenthood, but their state investigation faced a new roadblock this week after a pathologist who works with the abortion giant refused to testify.
Planned Parenthood leaders in Missouri stalled the investigation when they failed to answer a state subpoena for information in November. Late last week, the abortion group finally reached an agreement with state lawmakers to hand over documents pertaining to its disposal of aborted babies’ bodies, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
However, pathologist James Miller, the owner of Pathology Services of St. Louis, which works with Planned Parenthood to analyze fetal tissue, is refusing to testify after he also was subpoenaed for information, ABC 17 News reports. An attorney for Miller told the news outlet that he planned to use his fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination to not testify in front of the state Senate.
Miller and Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, had been summoned to testify in front of the state Senate on Monday to explain why they did not answer the subpoena; but the meeting was canceled when Planned Parenthood finally agreed to comply, according to the report.
State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, who is leading the investigation, questioned why it took the abortion group so long to produce the documents. Abortion activists accused legislators of seeking private patient information, but Schaefer said that never was the case. The requested documents include materials related to the disposal of fetal tissue, abortion incidents that required an ambulance and written protocols for performing abortions, according to the Associated Press.
Schaefer told ABC News that the state Senate’s actions probably prompted the abortion chain to respond. Earlier this month, the Senate voted to hold Miller and Kogut in contempt after they did not comply with the subpoena, LifeNews reported. If held in contempt, they could have faced jail time and fines.
“We do have an agreement with Planned Parenthood that they will comply with the subpoena and produce documents through their lawyer,” Schaefer told the St. Louis newspaper.
“I think all along, I mean, a big aspect of what Sanctity of Life was looking at was how are aborted babies disposed of at Planned Parenthood in St. Louis,” Schaefer continued. “The question we still have is: What is that policy? How are they disposed of? And we still don’t have an answer to that.”
Planned Parenthood was expected to have handed over about six years of documents related to their disposal of aborted babies’ body parts on Friday to the state Senate, according to the report.
Other state investigations already have revealed potentially illegal activities at Planned Parenthoods across the country. After South Carolina investigated the abortion group, it fined three of its facilities for illegally disposing aborted babies, LifeNews reported. An on-going U.S. Congressional investigation also recently revealed that the abortion chain deceived women on consent forms to donate their aborted babies’ bodies.
In November, LifeNews reported Schaefer’s office received a death threat, which he believes was linked to his leadership of the Planned Parenthood investigation.