Planned Parenthood is requesting that Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin do one of three things before he resigns in January: reverse the decision to discontinue “refer and follow” privileges, grandfather in their physician or issue privileges to their provider in another classification to make sure services can be provided without interruption, Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said.
MU Health Care decided in September to discontinue a classification that gave physicians “refer and follow” privileges, effective Dec. 1. MU Health spokeswoman Teresa Snow said the decision affected two out of MU Health Care’s 800 physicians.
“It was originally put in place because community physicians wanted to see the electronic medical records of their patients when they came to the hospital,” Snow said. “Now that can be done without that level of privileging, so the medical staff executive committee voted to end that privileging.”
Some students have criticized Loftin for his role, saying he didn’t stand against political pressure. During a Planned Parenthood protest held Sept. 29 in Speakers Circle, students chanted “M-I-Z, shame on you.”
Student group Mizzou for Planned Parenthood delivered more than 2,500 signed petitions to Loftin on Nov. 3 demanding that Planned Parenthood privileges be reinstated, according to a Facebook post on the [Mizzou for Planned Parenthood page.](https://www.facebook.com/MizzouforPlannedParenthood/)
McQuade said Planned Parenthood in Columbia has not had a discussion with Loftin since he [announced his resignation](http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/11/9/loftin-announces-resignation-effective-jan-1/). She said she is working with officials and hopes to hold a conversation on the future of Planned Parenthood’s relationship with the university sometime this week.
In a news release, Planned Parenthood supported Jonathan Butler’s weeklong hunger strike, which ended Nov. 9 with [the resignation of UM System President Tim Wolfe](http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/11/9/wolfe-announces-resignation-um-system-president/).
“Butler and Concerned Student 1950 have stood strong for equality, and we are grateful for their stalwart commitment to exposing the oppression of marginalized groups within the University system,” the release reads.
“Issues of racial justice and access to health care — including safe, legal abortion — are interconnected and cannot be fought alone,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in the release.
Senator David Sater, vice chairman for the Committee of the Sanctity of Life, disagrees that the two issues are related.
He said he thought Loftin was a “reasonable” person and good campus leader. He plans to be in contact with the curators this week to discuss selecting a new chancellor.
“I will be encouraging them to pick a chancellor who is not in the abortion business,” he said.
Looking toward the future, McQuade said she thinks it is important for MU to choose new leadership capable of healing some of the wrongs from [the past few months](http://www.themaneater.com/special-sections/mu-fall-2015/).
McQuade also said it is important to find a leader “who truly honors and respects the independent academic freedom” of MU.
“Just because it is a state university doesn’t mean it (can) become the puppet of politicians with very limited personal agendas,” she said.