JEFFERSON CITY— According to a recent press release from the Missouri Senate, Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, announced that Planned Parenthood has agreed to produce documents through their lawyer in response to the Senate subpoena he issued in November of 2015, on behalf of Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, Chairman of the Sanctity of Life interim Committee.
“In exchange for their compliance, we will suspend contempt proceedings at this time,” said Richard. “By Planned Parenthood fulfilling the request to produce documents, the Senate can continue its investigation to find out what happens to fetal tissue in Missouri.”
The contempt proceedings began after Mary Kogut of Planned Parenthood and Dr. James Miller of Pathology Services, Inc. declined to testify and produce documents requested by the Sanctity of Life Senate Interim Committee last fall. Subpoenas were signed by the Pro Tem and were issued to both Kogut of Planned Parenthood and Miller of Pathology Services, Inc. Last week, the Senate adopted resolutions that recognize that both Kogut and Miller declined to comply with official Senate requests and appeared to have no lawful excuse for their noncompliance. Both were required to appear before the Senate Committee of the Whole on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Sen. Schaefer said he has learned Dr. Miller, of Pathology Services, Inc., will be invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment instead of turning over documents.
“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, but I am disappointed that Dr. Miller has refused to cooperate, as he could have aided in answering vital questions,” said Schaefer.
The subpoena was originally issued to exercise the Senate’s ability to gather outside information important to an investigation. Sen. Richard said he, along with Minority Floor Leader Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, will assemble a bipartisan team to review the Planned Parenthood documents in the next couple of weeks.