Rep Chancellor Loftins job on the line over Planned Parenthood

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Board of Curators was meeting Wednesday, but officials would not comment on reports that discussion centered on calls to fire Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin because of a dispute over Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia  tweeted the meeting was an attempt to fire Loftin, but, when KOMU 8 News spoke to him, he would make no further comment.

The dispute centered on a doctor who was performing medical abortions at the Planned Parenthood facility in Columbia. Dr. Colleen McNicholas had some privileges at the University of Missouri Hospital.

Republican lawmakers said that was illegal, because MU is a public institution and taxpayer funds are not to be used to pay for abortions. MU Health Care said the law did not apply because McNicholas was not an employee of the system and was only able to refer patients to the hospital and then follow their progress.

After an outcry from Republican lawmakers, MU Health Care revoked McNicholas' privileges, prompting protests by supporters of Planned Parenthood, who said the university should not have cut relations.

Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, tweeted Monday that the Board of Curators may want to fire Loftin over the matter.

When KOMU 8 News asked the University of Missouri system for a response, communications officer John Fougere said, "Missouri's Sunshine Law statute and our university collected rules, we cannot comment on anything that goes on in executive (closed) session."

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to delete an unnecessary word.]

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