A recent development in Missouri could hopefully lead to further advancements on the pro-life front in the Midwestern state.
According to KansasCity.com, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson replaced Screenivasa Rao Dandamudi, the administrative law judge who, last year, halted the state’s efforts to shut down the St. Louis Planned Parenthood. Back in 2019, the Planned Parenthood facility sued over the denial of its state license, and Dandamudi ruled in its favor, determining the denial to be “improper.”
As Students for Life of America has previously reported, the St. Louis Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s most dangerous abortion facilities. In the last ten years, they have sent 81 women to the hospital following botched abortions, and 75 of these cases were confirmed medical emergencies.
Each time this Planned Parenthood called an ambulance, the staff instructed the drivers to ride with their lights and sirens off, most likely delaying the ambulance’s arrival time. In addition, officials noted the facility’s unsanitary and dangerous conditions.
In November 2019, Coalition for Life sidewalk counselors described the scene outside the facility after it called its 75th ambulance:
“Flashing lights lit up the gray day, and sirens cleared traffic for the St. Louis Fire Department that arrived at 1:26 pm Thursday afternoon in front of Planned Parenthood. The emergency response team was inside for 15 minutes when an ambulance arrived to join them in their work. As it neared the building from the east, the ambulance quieted its emergency sirens and darkened its lights.”
“Both teams worked together inside for about 5 minutes before the fire department left the patient in the hands of the ambulance crew. When they brought the patient out, she appeared conscious, propped up at an angle and covering her eyes.”
The Planned Parenthood facility’s license was later revoked after it refused to comply with the ample amount of time the state gave it to improve its conditions. Even though Planned Parenthood was provided with ample time to improve the dirtiness of its rooms and instruments.
When the case went to court, the abortionists refused to come forward and account for why women kept leaving the St. Louis Planned Parenthood in ambulances. Instead of subpoenaing the abortionists, the court basically said, ‘That’s okay, it’s too hard for you to travel three miles to the courthouse.’
What’s worse, Dandamudi’s refusal to uphold the license revocation allowed the facility to resume its regular operations, completely disregarding the facility’s abhorrent treatment of women.
Dandamudi also permitted the facility to continue committing abortions while the case was litigated, and he allowed Planned Parenthood’s attorneys to question a former Parson aide and then-Parson campaign manager over whether he was involved in the health department’s decision to deny the license. The Missouri attorney general’s office criticized the move as “politically motivated.”
Despite solid evidence of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood’s unsafe conditions being responsible for the denial of its license, Dandamudi ruled this year the state must pay $140,000 in legal fees to the abortion facility. Now that the Missouri governor has appointed Spencer Bartlett, general counsel for the Missouri Department of Revenue, to fill Dandamudi’s position, Students for Life of America hopes the change is a sign of better things to come.
Women and their children deserve better than an unaccountable abortion industry, and judges like Dandamudi are wrong to prioritize protecting Planned Parenthood over the people the facility has hurt.