Planned Parenthood Senate reach agreement to release documents

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JEFFERSON CITY - Government officials held a hearing Monday to announce their agreement with Planned Parenthood to help the Senate's investigation.

The Senate announced Friday Planned Parenthood agreed to produce documents in response to a Senate subpoena issued last November.

Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, issued the subpoena on behalf of Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia. Last fall, Mary Kogut, CEO of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, and Dr. James Miller of Pathology Services, Inc. declined to testify and produce documents requested by the Sanctity of Life Senate Interim Committee.

As of Monday, Planned Parenthood's lawyer is still in possession of the documents, which won't become public until the Senate has them.

Schaefer said this agreement isn't exactly what the Senate wanted, but it's a step in the right direction. 

"I am pleased that Planned Parenthood has finally agreed to cooperate with our investigation and that Missourians may soon actually know what happens to aborted babies,” Schaefer said in a statement Friday. “But I am disappointed that Dr. Miller has refused to cooperate, as he could have aided in answering vital questions.”

Kogut said this was a victory for all Planned Parenthood patients because no confidential information will be released in the documents. 

“For health care providers, confidentiality is the cornerstone of our relationship with patients – any release of documents is of serious concern," Kogut said in a statement Thursday. "I will continue to stand by each and every one of our patients and protect their privacy."

 Schaefer was unable to give a time line of when the documents would become public.