One Planned Parenthood facility in Missouri is facing backlash from some pro-life activists not only for the sheer number of ambulances reportedly called to the clinic but the way those ambulances are allegedly asked to operate upon arrival.
According to a recent Life News report, witnesses involved in protests outside of the St. Louis facility reported an ambulance arriving to pick up a patient without its siren or lights activated, which critics argue is an apparent violation of a law meant to combat actions that might delay proper medical treatment.
Activist Kathy Forck relayed second-hand information from a witness on the scene during the incident this week, asserting that “the ambulance lights were on coming down Forest Park, turned off when entering” the Planned Parenthood property.
“When the ambulance left, the lights were initially on and the ambulance proceeded down Forest Park with the lights off,” said Forck, the 40 Days for Life campaign director for Columbia, Missouri.
A similar incident was reported just 11 days earlier, after which witnesses also indicated the ambulance’s lights and siren were not used.
Operation Rescue also covered the recent complaints, but presented the story as one of the dozens involving that particular Planned Parenthood clinic in recent years.
The Feb. 24 emergency response was “so significant” because it represented the “sixty-eighth time an ambulance has transported a patient from this abortion facility since mid-2009,” the organization wrote.
That track record, according to writer Cheryl Sullenger, is enough to place the St. Louis facility “among the worst in the nation for abortion patient safety.”
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said the evidence indicates a need for additional regulation of the abortion industry and its primary provider nationwide.
“There needs to be an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood is in compliance with the law,” he said. “If they are delaying emergency medical care to patients, they should be held accountable in court like anyone else who commits crimes.”
The controversy comes as abortion providers in St. Louis are in the news for another reason.
City leaders continue to debate the merits of a proposed buffer zone surrounding the Planned Parenthood clinic, which supporters say will provide additional patient and doctor protection against protesters.
If successful, the measure would require individuals to remain eight feet or more from the sides of a health care facility-adjacent sidewalk. A vote on the proposal was delayed earlier this month.
With a razor-thin margin expected, its sponsor said pushing for a vote would not be in the best interest of its passage.
“I think it gives both sides opportunity to get people who may be on the fence, but I’m still feeling confident that regardless of both of our efforts, I will have the votes to get this thing out of here,” said Christine Ingrassia, a Democrat representing the city’s 6th Ward.
Among those opposed to the proposal are Missouri state Rep. Holly Rehder, the Republican behind a bill that would mandate “no city, town or village shall pass or enforce any law, ordinance or resolution that restricts a person from exercising a right enumerated in Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States while such a person is on a public sidewalk, street, avenue, alley, or other public place unless state law authorizes such a restriction.”
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