Earlier this month, state senators in Missouri tried to hold the CEO of the state Planned Parenthood affiliate in contempt of court, and threatened her with jail time for refusing to turn over confidential medical information on patients. The Senate announced Thursday they won’t do that, probably because the action would be questionably legal at best.
Mary Kogut is the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri; state senators had threatened to hold her in contempt after she refused to comply with what PP said was an overly broad subpoena that could have compromised HIPAA (medical privacy) laws.
The deal announced Thursday significantly narrows what PP will provide, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Whereas the subpoena demanded all documents with any reference to two doctors who appeared in the undercover videos, the agreement limits disclosure to only those documents in which the doctors are mentioned alongside fetal tissue, staff recruitment or commercial transactions outside the group’s “customary fees.”
And while the subpoena encompassed all documents on emergency medical dispatches to Planned Parenthood clinics, the agreement only calls for dispatch records compiled by public entities.
The paper also reports that “fetal tissue disposal policies” for the PP affiliate will be made available, as well as “blank patient forms and written protocols for abortions.” A bipartisan committee will review them, but will not be allowed to copy them, presumably to stave off leaks.
But, as with everything related to Planned Parenthood and the government lately, it’s one step forward and roughly 500 back: Senate Budget Chairman Kurt Schaefer, who authored the contempt resolution, also authored a measure to cut funding from PP.
The legislature approved that budget Friday morning. Lawmakers gave up $8 million in federal funding to deprive $380,000 from Planned Parenthood, because the GOP is the party of responsible money management.
State Senator Kurt Schaefer. Screenshot via YouTube/Missouri Senate