Potential legal battle brewing over Columbia Planned Parenthood

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COLUMBIA - A legal battle is possible between Sen. Kurt Schaefer and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Sanctity of Life Committee, chaired by Schaefer, and Gail Vasterling, the executive director of the department, met in a hearing Thursday concerning the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia. Sen. Bob Onder, one of the committee's members, said the clinic's procedures do not follow state law. 

"I was very disappointed with her testimony," Onder said. "I believe the department issued an illegal permit to the Columbia Planned Parenthood."

Onder said Vasterling refused to give the name of the hospital that takes in emergencies when abortions go bad in the clinic.

Sen. Jill Schupp, another member of the committee, said she has a completely different view of Vasterling's testimony, saying Vasterling is not required to give the information because it is a closed record.

"To me, this is just a whole lot of political grandstanding," Schupp said.

Sen. Schaefer threatened to bring the department into court over the issues surrounding the clinic.

KOMU 8 reached out to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services but did not receive a call back.