Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) received a letter this week from UM Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin confirming media reports that University of Missouri Health Care granted abortionist Dr. Colleen McNicholas “refer and follow” privileges in December, thereby allowing the Columbia Planned Parenthood to start offering abortions again.
In the letter, Loftin denies that UM Health Care has any “working agreements” with the Planned Parenthood facility, but states that the “refer and follow” privileges granted to McNicholas would allow her to refer a patient to a hospital physician and to review the medical records. Loftin goes on to say, however, that McNicholas couldn’t admit a patient herself, write physician orders, or perform procedures at MU facilities.
Schaeffer questions whether granting such privileges would violate Missouri law, which prohibits state funding from being used for abortions. Chancellor Loftin denies that granting “refer and follow” privileges constitute assisting abortions and that the privileges granted are consistent with Missouri law.
The MCC questions whether the “refer and follow” privileges are sufficient under Missouri law for the clinic to have a license, since the statute and the state regulations have different standards for licensure. The Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life will meet next week to continue its investigation of the Planned Parenthood videos, and the granting of a license to Planned Parenthood’s Columbia facility.