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Pathology lab asked to end work with Planned Parenthood

Pathology lab asked to end work with Planned Parenthood


JEFFERSON CITY • A Brentwood-based lab that examines fetal body parts from the St. Louis Planned Parenthood is being urged to end its association with the state's only surgical abortion provider.

Mike Hoey, Missouri Catholic Conference executive director, sent a letter to Pathology Services Inc. this week, saying its "lab workers are part of the assembly line of the abortion industry."

"By agreeing, in advance, to take the human remains of these children aborted while in utero, you are facilitating this taking of innocent human life," Hoey wrote. "Knowing this, your only moral recourse is to say "NO, we will no longer cooperate, we will no longer help kill unborn babies."

The pathology lab is contracted by Planned Parenthood to examine "a representative sample of tissue" taken at the time of the abortion and send a report to both the organization and the Department of Health and Senior Services, as required by state law.

This and other aspects of what the St. Louis facility does with fetal tissue following an abortion has been under the microscope since controversial videos were released in July alleging the organization sold fetal body parts. One video specifically mentions St. Louis as a potential location to obtain fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied that any fetal tissue was sold in Missouri.

The state Senate currently is investigating these allegations. Attorney General Chris Koster recently released a report stating his office found no evidence suggesting the organization sold fetal body parts in the state.

 Koster’s office reviewed documents tracing its process for disposing of fetal tissue for 317 abortions performed in June 2015. They found that once the procedure is performed, the tissue is placed in a leakproof container and taken to Pathology Services Inc.

A March inspection report of the St. Louis facility showed the lab was not sending these reports to the department for an unknown period of time — and that department officials were not aware the reports were missing. That situation has since been corrected, state officials say.

Koster’s office determined that once the lab is done with the examination, a waste disposal company collects the tissue and destroys it in an incinerator. This was determined by looking at invoices from the lab charging Planned Parenthood for the work and certification from the waste disposal company that the tissue was destroyed.

Hoey said Koster's report showed that the lab "systematically, under contract, facilitates abortion by accepting the remains of aborted children."

"As a private business you have no legal obligation to cater to the needs of Planned Parenthood," Hoey said.

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Alex Stuckey is a statehouse reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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