Planned Parenthood calls for Loftin to make changes before leaving

1 year 2 months 1 week ago November 09, 2015 Nov 9, 2015 Monday, November 09 2015 Monday, November 09, 2015 9:26:00 PM CST in News
By: Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA – Planned Parenthood issued a statement Monday night asking University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin to reinstate privileges to doctors who refer patients to University Hospital and follow their progress.

“Before assuming a new role, we urge Chancellor Loftin to immediately reinstate the appropriate clinical privileges to ensure there is no disruption in health care access for the residents of this community,” Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said.

On Sept. 24, MU announced it was canceling the “refer and follow” privileges with MU Health Care for Dr. Colleen McNicholas effective Dec. 1.

The Planned Parenthood statement said former UM System President Tim Wolfe’s resignation and Loftin’s resignation at the end of the year opened the door for change at MU.

“Now there is yet another opportunity to do the right thing and listen to the voices of the thousands of students, faculty, and community members who continue to speak out in defense of academic freedom and access to health care,” the statement said.

The statement also applauded Concerned Student 1950 and graduate student Jonathan Butler’s efforts. Butler went on a hunger strike on Nov. 2.

"We are grateful to Jonathan Butler for risking his life to bring attention to the inequities faced by people of color, women, and other marginalized groups treated by MU leadership as though their issues and voices don't matter. Too much is at stake for the residents of Missouri to take this moment for granted,” McQuade said.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Butler’s actions can be carried to issues beyond racism.

“Butler, and the students and faculty who joined him, understand that issues of racial justice and access to health care--including safe, legal abortion--are interconnected and cannot be fought alone,” Richards said. “Officials must take notice and take action to address issues of race, homophobia, sexism, and other oppressions that impact the lives of people daily--including reinstating critical physician privileges at MU to ensure Missouri does not go back to being a state with only one health center that provides abortion.”

The statement came from both Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

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