Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

Last abortion mill standing in Missouri

Abortion | Regulators building a case against Planned Parenthood in St. Louis
by Leah Hickman
Posted 2/24/20, 04:15 pm

Bridget Van Means, the head of a pregnancy center in St. Louis, has seen numerous ambulances pull up to the Planned Parenthood facility about a half-mile down the street. She said the abortion center gave emergency vehicles a stand-down notice to keep their sirens off when arriving at the facility. Planned Parenthood staff would wheel out women covered in white sheets. Van Means said the facility had about 75 ambulance visits in about nine years, illustrating its “total disregard for these women’s health.”

At a hearing in October, Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services cited failed abortions as the primary reason to revoke the abortion center’s license. Inspections in March 2019 found 30 deficiencies at the facility. DHSS’s director later said Planned Parenthood only addressed four. Both sides await a ruling on the licensure question from the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has held onto its license.

DHSS originally had until Friday to file written briefs with the commission, but last Tuesday it received an extension until March 16. Van Means said the extension gives DHSS more time to put a “nail in the coffin” of the abortion center by showing conclusively why it should not be performing abortions.

Protecting babies and women from abortion in Missouri has been a team effort. Van Means gives the credit to pro-life lawmakers, churches, and pregnancy centers working together. While state legislators crack down on the lax standards in the state’s last remaining abortion center, local pregnancy centers provide Missouri women the care they need. In 2012, Thrive St. Louis, the pregnancy center Van Means leads, declared itself a direct competitor of Planned Parenthood. And long before the recent accusations against Planned Parenthood, Van Means said Thrive saw an influx of patients, offering free services provided by female medical professionals in a facility she calls “the Starbucks of pregnancy centers.”

“We’ve basically beat Planned Parenthood into the ground [by] just treating [women] like a consumer,” Van Means said. “Earning business, earning respect, and earning a reputation.”

Associated Press/Photo by Natacha Pisarenko Associated Press/Photo by Natacha Pisarenko Pro-abortion protesters outside Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday

Around the world

India: Parliament will soon consider removing some protections for unborn babies. Current law allows abortion until 20 weeks of gestation with the approval of two physicians. The changes would leave babies unprotected up until 24 weeks of gestation and require the opinion of only one physician. It would also allow abortionists to kill babies with fetal abnormalities up until birth.

Argentina: Thousands of women gathered in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to show support for a new bill that would legalize abortion. Argentina protects babies from abortion throughout pregnancy except in cases of rape or a life-threatening health risk to the mother. The Catholic Church in Argentina is organizing a counterrally for March 8, International Women’s Day.

Colombia: Last week, the Colombian Constitutional Court considered legalizing all abortions up to 12 weeks of gestation. Like Argentina, Colombian law safeguards all unborn babies with limited exceptions.

Portugal: Lawmakers passed five proposals on Thursday that would legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in some cases. The bills will go through an amendment process before the final vote. —L.H.

Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Chiu (file) Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Chiu (file) Sandra Merritt (left) and David Daleiden outside of a courtroom in San Francisco

Back in court

Pro-life activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts in California stemming from secretly videotaped conversations with Planned Parenthood executives. Daleiden and Merritt released videos of the conversations in 2015, exposing the abortion business’s trafficking of the body parts of aborted babies. The charges include one count of conspiracy and eight counts of eavesdropping and recording a “confidential communication,” although Daleiden and Merritt shot the videos in public areas such as exhibit halls and restaurants.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, added a 10th felony charge at the last minute against Daleiden and Merritt for creating and using fake IDs. Lawyers for the defense have argued the statute of limitations to introduce new charges had already expired.

Daleiden and Merritt could face up to a decade in San Quentin State Prison if convicted. Attorneys for the defendants are asking a judge to dismiss all of the charges. —L.H.

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Leah Hickman

Leah is a reporter for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Hillsdale College graduate. Leah resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @leahmhickman.

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    Posted: Tue, 02/25/2020 11:54 am

    "Back in court"

    They should have a change of venue for this case. 

    Did they check each juror for pro-life or abortion? Or did they stack the jurors against the defendant like they did for Stone?

    The judge a Liberal and all jurors liberals. I guess we never did have honest courts. Now they just rule in favor of criminals.

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 02/25/2020 05:04 pm

    Now who was it again that was chopping up babies and selling their body parts? Did I miss something here?