Largely due to the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts, the nation’s largest abortion provider is under federal and state examination.

Monday, Texas stripped Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood providers, joining a handful of other states who’ve done the same.

As state-level scrutiny increases, Planned Parenthood’s room to wiggle shrinks in kind.

Tuesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a pathology lab that contracts with a local Planned Parenthood provider failed to register with the state of Missouri this year. This is the sixth time the lab has missed a filing deadline since 1994.

The lab, which digs through aborted baby parts, says officials, “misunderstood the registration process.”

Abortion opponents say it’s just the latest example of operational problems at the laboratory, problems that extend to its operations in Illinois and Iowa.

The lab, Pathology Services, Inc., has been under the microscope since controversial videos were released in July alleging that Planned Parenthood had tried to make money from selling fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has vehemently denied these allegations, and Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, found no evidence of wrongdoing in Missouri. Republican lawmakers, however, have continued investigating.

By law, the lab must send pathology reports to both Planned Parenthood and the state Department of Health and Senior Services. A March inspection report of the St. Louis facility found that lab officials weren’t sending reports to the department. Last week, lab owner Dr. James Miller said the lab had been sending two copies of each report to Planned Parenthood and assumed the facility was sending the second report to the state.

Sam Lee, president of Campaign Life Missouri, said the law is clear and the lab’s failure to follow it, coupled with its repeated failure to register with the Secretary of State’s office, establishes a pattern.

“It calls into question whether (the lab) really sees what type of tissues they’re getting from Planned Parenthood,” Lee said. He added that if Planned Parenthood is concerned about the well-being of its patients, the organization “should be concerned that they get (a pathology lab) that’s capable and competent, and it’s clear Pathology Services is not.”

But Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said the lab has shown an “ability to provide a high quality of pathology service.”

Does missing the filing deadline render the death penalty for Pathology Services? Sort of.

Corporations such as Pathology Services are required to register with the Secretary of State’s office every year, although some choose the option of registering every two years. The office does remind companies to re-register before issuing an administrative dissolution of the business.

That’s what happened Sept. 21 to Pathology Services.

State law stipulates that if a company is administratively dissolved, it “may not carry on any business except that necessary to wind up or liquidate it’s business and affairs.”

If it does, company owners and management can be held personally liable for any damages incurred during that time. Once a company turns in the paperwork, however, it can be reinstated.

Labs that have failed to file paper work and are ordered to “administratively dissolve” continue operating.

But an examination of business filings for four other pathology labs operating in the St. Louis region shows none have an administrative dissolution on file dating back to the 1990s. The state does not keep an official list of pathology labs.

A lab representative for Pathology Services said it is still operating. The lab also continued operating when it was dissolved for more than a year ending December 2014.

Lab officials thought the business taxes had to be completed to file the registration material, the representative said, but they recently learned they can register earlier. The representative, who declined to provide her name, said the company had such a long dissolution period between 2013 and 2014 because it took several months to acquire and turn in the reinstatement forms.

But it’s not the first time the lab has gone more than a year without reinstatement. It happened two times before: once between 2001 and 2002 and a second time between 2008 and 2009.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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