COLUMBIA — The battle over surgical abortion in Columbia has ended. But the battle over surgical abortion in Columbia has not ended.
In the past two weeks, surgical abortions in Columbia have either ceased or been put on hold, depending on who you ask.
Kathy Forck, campaign director in Columbia for “40 Days for Life,” said there will be no more surgical abortions at Planned Parenthood because the doctor in charge resigned from the clinic.
But Michelle Trupiano, public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said, “I 100 percent guarantee that the surgical abortion doctor is still on staff.”
In fact, Trupiano said the same doctor handles both the surgical and medication abortions, which the clinic still offers.
The disagreement coincides with “40 Days for Life,” a worldwide 40-day campaign during Lent. The Columbia group meets outside the Planned Parenthood clinic at 711 N. Providence Road.
Forck said she placed three calls to Planned Parenthood’s toll-free number, asking for information on surgical abortions in Columbia. She said the operator told her each time to travel to Kansas, because the doctor for surgical abortions in Columbia “recently resigned.”
Forck said her sister, Nancy Peters, also called the toll-free number and received the same answer. “They’re hiding something,” she said. “Somebody is not telling the whole truth.”
“The call center could have been misinformed, or this could have been made up, but the doctor is still there,” Trupiano said.
Missouri law requires that nurses and other staff members be present during and after a surgical abortion. Scheduling conflicts between staffers has resulted in the disappearance of surgical abortions in Columbia in recent weeks, Trupiano said.
In Columbia, surgical abortions are offered one day a week.
Trupiano said she plans to look into the possibility of misinformation with the operators and fix any possible problems.
“We are wholly committed to continue offering our services in Columbia,” she said.
Trupiano said protesters do not deter the staff, although she called it harassment.
“The protesters can do whatever the heck they want, but our staff is committed to their jobs,” she said.
Forck’s campaign has no plans to stop if the doctor has resigned. The vigil will continue to pray for those involved in the medication abortions performed at the clinic, she said.
"God is using us to help save babies, moms and dads,” Forck said.