Status of Planned Parenthood staff at center of abortion disagreement

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

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.

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Joanne Schrader March 17, 2010 | 10:01 a.m.

Michelle Trupiano and the staff at Planned Parenthood consider people walking down the sidewalk, praying, saying hello, and giving them a friendly wave as harassment. They have called the police on us numerous times for frivolous concerns, but no arrests have been made. In fact, their own security cameras exonerate us. We are law abiding citizens. It is the peaceful positive witness we give to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death that bothers them. Meanwhile, we have had our share of hate (cussing, threats, middle finger, etc.) by abortion supporters, but we turn the other cheek and offer it up to God.

(Report Comment)
Joanne Schrader March 17, 2010 | 10:46 a.m.

I would like to add that some of the staff smaile and wave back to us. If they were feeling harassed, I doubt they would do that. Any conversion of an abortionist, nurse, or staff from an activity that violently takes the life of an innocent pre-born baby is worth celebrating.

(Report Comment)
steve jobs March 17, 2010 | 1:30 p.m.

Preborn is not a real word. Less government - more freedom. A fetus is not a person.

(Report Comment)
Joanne Schrader March 18, 2010 | 7:55 a.m.

Whether you say pre-born (before birth) or unborn (not born), it does not matter. We are talking about the same child in the womb. I am not going to deny that child, a member of homo sapiens, personhood just as Blacks, Irish, Japanese, Native Americans, the disabled, etc. have all been denied personhood historically in order to be killed and/or exploited.

(Report Comment)
Joanne Schrader March 19, 2010 | 3:52 p.m.

"A person is a person no matter how small." Dr. Seuss

(Report Comment)

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