Planned Parenthood attorney disputes Senate subpoena's scope

8 months 2 days 7 hours ago April 05, 2016 Apr 5, 2016 Tuesday, April 05 2016 Tuesday, April 05, 2016 1:56:00 PM CDT in News
By: Alyssa Casares, KOMU 8 Reporter & The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY —An attorney for Planned Parenthood said the Missouri Senate has demanded a broad array of documents without giving the group a way to negotiate a more narrow agreement.

Planned Parenthood's attorney Chuck Hatfield told a Senate panel Tuesday that the organization is open to releasing records lawmakers subpoenaed in November.

"Planned Parenthood was not in contempt with the Senate," Hatfield said. "Planned Parenthood understands that the Senate is entitled to certain information about its operations and Planned Parenthood is willing to provide certain information."

Hatfield said parts of the subpoena have nothing to do with the Senate's investigation into fetal tissue donation and there should be an open process for challenging it, such as a committee hearing.

"The Senate requested 6 years of individually identifiable patient information among other things and we’re not going to produce that without a court order because it’s private information, it goes to women’s health care and we’re not going to hand it over into the public domain," Hatfield said.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer said that argument is a stall tactic, because lawmakers are discussing how to resolve the dispute now.

"We are not seeking any individually identifiable patient information," Schaefer said.

Schaefer said the Senate subpoenaed documents from Planned Parenthood regarding information about its policy and procedures on how it disposes of aborted babies.

"We specifically state that if anything you produce that's responsive to the subpoena would identify individual health records of individuals, it should be redacted and taken out," Schaefer said. "So they know that. They're simply using all this as a stall tactic to not comply with the Senate investigation."

Schaefer has proposed holding regional CEO Mary Kogut in contempt of the Senate for not complying with the subpoena, which could include jail time.

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