They’re doing it again.
Back in July, the viral story of the 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio being denied an abortion appeared in a Gannett Corporation newspaper, the Indianapolis Star. The story was short on details, was unverifiable, and lacked any information about who raped the child — until PJ Media started asking questions. What we discovered was that the press was totally uninterested in the man who raped the child (an illegal alien) and never bothered to find out if the abortion could have been performed in Ohio under the law. After speaking with lawmakers and the attorney general of Ohio, the experts all agreed that the doctor who sent the child to Indiana was negligent and could have given her the abortion in the state. Pro-abortion activists used a 10-year-old rape victim to get their scare headlines and whip up anger at abortion restriction laws.
Now activists are doing it again in Missouri! Gannett-owned paper The Springfield News-Leader dropped a scary story on Oct. 13 about Mylissa Farmer, a self-described “pro-life Christian” whose water broke at seventeen weeks and who then began cramping and bleeding. Farmer claimed she went to a hospital in Joplin where she was told her baby was terminal and she might die without an abortion. But, she says, they turned her away and refused to do it, supposedly because of Missouri’s abortion laws, and forced her to go out of state for the procedure.
Farmer’s options were limited in Missouri: “Sit and wait in the hospital for however long it took for her heartbeat to either stop, or for infection to set in or for me to bleed to death. We didn’t like those options.”
Doctors suggested she and McNeill travel out of state to receive care. But after calling four hospitals in Illinois and three in Kansas, it seemed no one would take them.
They even drove out to Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, that same day, where she said doctors told her the same thing she’d heard in Joplin: “This child is not viable. Your health is at risk.”
The red flags in this story are numerous. Let’s start with the fact that it’s completely unverifiable. The hospital is on the record saying they can’t answer any questions about it because of HIPPA. The reporter at the News-Leader, Susan Szuch, says she reviewed medical records that showed Farmer was at great risk of dying, with many complications, including deep vein thrombosis and risk of hysterectomy. If that is true, Farmer absolutely qualified for abortion under section 7 of Missouri’s abortion law. It’s not even arguable. Here’s what the law says:
“Medical emergency”, a condition which, based on reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert the death of the pregnant woman or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman;
(8) “Physician”, any person licensed to practice medicine in this state by the state board of registration for the healing arts;
[(8)] (9) “Reasonable medical judgment”, a medical judgment that would be made by a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved;
Farmer’s condition met every legal requirement. PJ Media spoke with Rep. Nick Schroer, the author of the abortion law in Missouri, and he agreed. “It’s leftist propaganda. I have no idea what kind of practitioner would just toss their hands up and hypothetically let a woman die when we have protections in the law that everyone, even the governor, myself, and the attorney general have reiterated time and time again,” he said.
“It’s absolutely an emergency,” he continued. “This is atrocious. I think any practitioner that will just refer a woman out and just say, alright, we can’t do anything, you have to go home and take care of this on your own, is negligence and medical malpractice.”
Schroer continued to cast doubt on the media coverage. “The media, who should be second guessing these claims and questioning these claims and trying to verify, instead puts these allegations out there to stoke fear just in time for the midterm elections,” he observed.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is clearly the target, as he is up for re-election against Trudy Busch Valentine. The Busches are Missouri’s Kennedys, with incredible wealth and privilege and similar scandals of suspicious deaths and rubbing elbows with very bad people — including Hitler himself.
Saint Luke’s Health system tried to stoke fear back in June after Roe and Casey were overturned by cutting off the distribution of Plan B birth control, generating panicked headlines that Missouri had made it illegal to get the contraceptive. Shortly after the scare, Saint Luke’s again made national news when it reversed the policy and began distributing Plan B once more — after AG Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson debunked the claim that it was illegal. But activists got the headlines they wanted out of the episode, leading low-information voters to believe emergency contraceptives had been criminalized by the dastardly Republicans.
The medical community’s stance on these issues, even after being proven wrong, is always to say that the law is too ambiguous for them to comprehend, and so they go to extremes in order to protect themselves from liability.
Or maybe it’s something else, like those click-worthy headlines that help Democrats get back in power.
That leads us back to Farmer’s story. The self-proclaimed “pro-life Christian” has an unusual social media presence for a person with those beliefs. Farmer’s Facebook page is full of posts mocking Christians. She also belongs to a Facebook group that mocks conservatives called Conservatives Threatening Us With a Good Time Again! In one post, Farmer declares, “This is why I don’t believe in any religion.”
Farmer’s Twitter account is equally suspicious. She opened the account in April of 2022 and only posted a handful of tweets, beginning in October. So either she’s only been tweeting for a couple of weeks, or she deleted everything she had posted before October. One of her re-tweets attacks Attorney General Eric Schmitt as a “fascist.”
Her Twitter followers are also interesting, along with whom she follows, which I have archived. They’re all blue-checked Missouri Democrats or political operatives. One of them, Alex Witt, the campaign manager for AG Shmitt’s opponent Trudy Busch Valentine (who also follows Farmer), is followed by Hillary Clinton herself. Farmer looks less like a “pro-life Christian” and more like a Democrat political operative.
But the coup de grâce is the campaign ad Farmer made that was posted on Oct. 20 — just days after her viral story dropped in the Gannett media. One should ask why Farmer didn’t come forward with this story when it happened back in August but instead waited until two weeks before the elections to do so. This seems like the definition of a manufactured October surprise.
After Roe was overturned, it took Eric Schmitt only six minutes to enact one of the cruelest and most dangerous abortion bans in the U.S. One so extreme it could land women and doctors in jail and provides no exceptions for survivors of rape and incest.@buschvalentine’s new ad: pic.twitter.com/Ok98NSkIhu
— Jacob Long (@JacobLongSTL) October 20, 2022
Even Yahoo News seemed to see the red flags, putting “pro-life” in skeptical quotation marks and highlighting that Farmer is making ads for Democrats in their headline.
As a general rule, you should never believe anything you read in October during an election year. This story didn’t go as viral as the Ohio rape story, and maybe that’s because it’s so obviously politically motivated. But it did get reposted in Gannett’s USA Today and Bharat Express in India, and Jezebel picked it up and put an even more ridiculous spin on it.
The Jezebel story focused on the claim that Farmer called her state senator, Bill White, for help. In the original story in the Springfield News-Leader, Farmer claimed she spoke to an unnamed aide of White’s.
The aide told her he would reach out to Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and also connected her with Choices Medical Services, “which is basically an anti-abortion clinic” in Joplin, Farmer said. She never heard back about what Schmitt said.
The clinic told Farmer they could not help her since her emergency situation required hospitalization. Jezebel then went off the deep end and insinuated that the clinic offered Farmer diapers for her dying baby in exchange for attending Bible studies. Kylie Cheung wrote,
There are layers to just how unhelpful it sounds like White was, but I’m particularly struck by the callousness and stupidity of trying to direct her to a crisis pregnancy center—these Christian-run “clinics” exist solely to dissuade people from having abortions by pushing lies, and the most help they could possibly offer Farmer is a non-medical pregnancy test and some diapers for her dying fetus—if she attends enough Bible study classes.
PJ Media reached out to the clinic and the spokesperson confirmed that they do not offer Bible study classes. Cheung didn’t bother to check that fact before just making it up to suit the purpose of making Republicans look foolish.
Cheung also conflated the unnamed aide with White himself, making readers believe that the senator actually told a woman in danger of dying to go to a crisis pregnancy center. But did this conversation with the aide even happen? It’s impossible to verify without a name. PJ Media reached out to White but was unable to get hold of anyone in his office at the time of publishing. If they do respond, we will update this article.
Schroer, who authored the Missouri abortion law, told PJ Media that lawmakers offered clarification to hospitals many times after the fall of Roe. He provided us with the Health Department’s guidance, which should have been sufficient for the hospital to care for Farmer.
The attorney general’s office should investigate the decision not to provide care to Farmer. Farmer’s case, if true, was a textbook medical emergency. Turning her away should be considered medical negligence, and the doctors who did it should be prosecuted, if possible, for putting her life in danger.
The abortion scare-mongers are out in force and have even created a website, PostRoeHarm.com, where they use these stories and misreport them to illustrate how “dangerous” it is to restrict abortion. But the intellectual dishonesty is stunning. Julia Pulver, a nurse, argued this with me for the better part of two days this week on Twitter. It eventually boiled down to her admitting that the lawyers at the hospital are negligent.
Bc they aren’t lawyers & their hospital’s legal departments are telling them they can’t?
— Julia A. Pulver, MSN, RN, CCM (@VotePulver) October 22, 2022
There is no excuse for this other than political gamesmanship. If lawyers are advising hospitals to turn away women who are in danger of dying, they need to be fired and replaced with lawyers who will correctly interpret the law. What we have here are doctors who want no restrictions so they cannot be held accountable. This is the kind of behavior we would expect from medical professionals who are working with activists and deliberately creating nightmare scenarios to challenge laws they don’t like.
Who is putting women’s lives in danger?