Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has filed a lawsuit against Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services after its Acting Director, Peter Lyskowski, announced he would revoke PPKM’s license to perform abortion services by close of business Monday, November 30, 2015, if PPKM does not have a physician with privileges. The lawsuit shows DHSS did not give PPKM’s physician, Dr. Colleen McNicholas, sufficient time to seek alternative privileges needed to continue work at the Columbia health center, or give PPKM enough time to locate another physician.
“Obtaining privileges at a hospital is a tedious, not to mention, medically unnecessary requirement that can take six months, or even more, to fulfill. MU Health Care imposed an impossible timeline for our physician when it terminated Dr. McNicholas’ privileges just more than two months ago,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, Laura McQuade said.
Planned Parenthood found itself in a similar gap in services when its physician resigned in 2012. DHSS maintained PPKM’s license for more than a year, allowing the health care provider time to search for a qualified doctor and submit the required privileging application, a process that took a total of three years.
“It is deeply troubling that we continue to fight MU Health Care’s politically designed obstacle course instigated by Senator Kurt Schaefer. If MU’s Interim Chancellor Hank Foley does not reverse the damage by reinstating privileges, or extending the deadline for ‘refer and follow’ privileges in the coming hours, women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Mid-Missouri ends at 5pm today,” McQuade said.
Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for our community and for women and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. We are a trusted advocate and source of health care and education for thousands of women, men, and children. For 80 years, women have relied on Planned Parenthood to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, 913.345.4693
Sheila Kostas, 913.345.4635
November 30, 2015