MU to end privileges at University Hospital for abortion doctor

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COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Health Care will not continue its "refer and follow" privileges at University Hospital for the doctor who performs abortions at the Columbia Planned Parenthood Clinic. That arrangement would end in December.

Steve Witt, chief medical officer of MU Health Care, said two out of 80 MU Health Care medical staff members had these privileges, in a statement released Thursday.

This decision comes after the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, which Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, leads, started investigating Planned Parenthood's services. The Columbia clinic began offering abortions again on Aug. 1, but in mid-September, the University of Missouri and Planned Parenthood ended their 26-year relationship.

Bonnie Lee, a member of the 40 Days For Life, said she feels this is a victory not only for her group.

"University has put out that this "refer and follow," you know, was really insignificant, but it is what brought the abortionists here," Lee said.

She and other members of the organization were holding anti-abortion signs in front of Planned Parenthood Friday.

KOMU 8 News reached out to the Boone County Democratic Party to get its reaction to this issue.

Chairman Homer Page said he had hoped MU would be "stronger and more willing to stand up to this kind of pressure and blackmail."

Page said upon hearing the news of the university's decision to end the "refer and follow" privileges, he was disappointed.

"The Democratic Party is very concerned that the radical Republican legislature has bullied the university into taking this position," Page said. "Providing health care for women is of mandate for the university, and the fact that they're going to be curtailed is shameful."

MU Health Care will end the "refer and follow" privileges on Dec. 1.

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