St. Louis, Oct 30 (AP/UNB) — Missouri's health department director on Tuesday said he tracked the menstrual cycles of Planned Parenthood patients as part of an effort to identify what the agency says were "failed abortions" at a St. Louis clinic.
Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams made the revelation during the second day of an administrative hearing to determine whether Missouri's only abortion clinic will lose its license to perform the procedure.
Williams said an investigator made a spreadsheet at his request that included the dates of patients' last periods, The Kansas City Star reported. He said the goal was to find women who needed multiple procedures to complete an abortion.
The head of the St. Louis clinic called the move "deeply disturbing."
"Missouri's top health official, Randall Williams, scrutinized menstrual cycles of women in this state in order to end abortion access," Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said in a statement.
Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, a Democrat from Springfield, called for an investigation to see if patient privacy was compromised or if laws were broken. She also was critical of Williams' actions.
"State law requires the health department director to be 'of recognized character and integrity,'" Quade said in a statement. "This unsettling behavior calls into question whether Dr. Williams meets that high standard."
The state had moved to revoke the clinic's license in June, citing concerns about a series of "failed abortions," and a lack of cooperation from some of the doctors involved.
While Williams said concerns about the clinic are "grave," he said the issues are "imminently fixable." He believes there are solutions that both the state and Planned Parenthood would agree to that would allow for licensure.
Planned Parenthood says there are no deals on the table.
Wrangling over the license began when an investigator involved in a March inspection of the clinic found that a woman had undergone an abortion that took five attempts to complete. William Koebel, director of the section of the health department responsible for abortion clinic licensing, said Monday that the clinic failed to provide a "complication report" for that incident.
That failure led the health department to launch an investigation of other instances where women were required to undergo multiple procedures before an abortion was completed, Koebel said.
As part of that investigation, the state obtained medical records of women who had abortions at the clinic. They found four women who required multiple procedures, including one where the physician apparently missed that a woman was pregnant with twins. The woman underwent two procedures five weeks apart.
Planned Parenthood officials contend the state "cherry-picked" a handful of difficult cases out of thousands of otherwise successful abortions. They have accused the state of using the licensing process as a tool to eliminate abortions in Missouri, saying the state is among several conservative-led states seeking to end abortion through tough new laws and tighter restrictions.
The Administrative Hearing Commission isn't expected to rule on the licensing issue until February at the earliest. In the meantime, the clinic remains open.
Missouri would become the first state since 1974, the year after the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, without a functioning abortion clinic if the license is revoked.
Missouri is among several states to pass new restrictions on abortions in the hope that the increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed legislation in May banning abortions at or beyond eight weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest. The law is on hold while a legal challenge plays out in court.
While the Missouri case unfolded, Planned Parenthood quietly built a new abortion clinic in Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, in part to meet demand from Missouri residents. The clinic in Fairview Heights opened Wednesday.
Missouri women have been increasingly getting abortions at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, another St. Louis suburb. Deputy Director Alison Dreith said 58% of the abortions performed at the Hope Clinic through August of this year involved Missouri women, compared with 37% involving Illinois women.
Another abortion clinic sits in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb. The clinic is 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the state line. Information from the state of Kansas shows about 3,300 of the 7,000 abortions performed there last year involved Missouri residents.
Dhaka, Oct 29 (UNB) – Mentioning that Kalidas Karmakar was not only a great printmaker and prolific artist in Bangladesh, but also a great admirer, preacher and well-wisher of modern arts, speakers at a memorial meeting here on Tuesday said he will live forever through his majestic creations.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) in association with Bangladesh Charushilpi Sangsad organised the programme at the National Chitrashala Auditorium.
Former Foreign Secretary Waliur Rahman, Artist Hashem Khan, cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar, Kalidas’ elder daughter Kanka Karmakar, brother Dilip Karmakar, Artist Md Yunus, Charushilpi Sangsad Vice-president Zahid Mustafa, Artist Nazia Andaleeb Preema and Gallery Cosmos Executive Artistic Manager Sourav Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the event with BSA Director General Liaquat Ali Lucky in the chair.
The speakers reminisced about their memories with Kalidas Karmakar and shed light on his life and influences in Bangladeshi modern art and culture.
“My father was a great admirer of modern art. Till his death, he tried to represent Bangladesh as a great country of modern art and he always wanted a museum of modern art in the country where the artists would get their deserving honour for their incredible artworks,” Kanka Karmakar said.
Sourav Chowdhury said, “Kalidas was a man of love and energy. He was a member of our Cosmos family and a founding father-figure of our Gallery Cosmos. He will always be remembered for the excellence he held inside his energetic mind and soul.”
Remembering his influential role, Liaquat Ali Lucky proposed naming an award in his honour at the Asian Biennale, a festival actively participated by the artist over the years since its very beginning. He also proposed a memorial book where his friends, students, contemporary artists and admirers can express their memories and gratitude to the great artist.
The legendary artist, Kalidas Karmakar, breathed his last on October 18.
Dhaka, Oct 28 (UNB) - The Embassy of Bangladesh, Seoul has participated in the ‘1st Asia Cultural Week 2019’ organised by Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju city, the cultural hub of Korea.
Bangladesh, along with 14 other nations, participated in the festival, jointly organised by Asia Culture Institute and Gwangju International Centre at the Asia Culture Plaza of the city, said the Embassy on Monday.
Acting President of Asia Culture Centre Lee Jin-Sik inaugurated the event on October 23 in presence of the representatives and members of other participating countries and institutions.
The traditional craft items in the Bangladesh stall like nakshi katha, jute products, wooden dolls, flute, hand fan and ornaments attracted the visitors there.
In addition, leaflets and brochures on tourism, trade and investment opportunities of Bangladesh were also distributed among them.
The musical performance of Bangladeshi artist was admired by the audience at the event.
The presence of Bangladesh Embassy at Gwangju city, has provided the opportunity to present the traditional culture and heritage of Bangladesh to the Korean nationals as well as to the international community there, said the Embassy.
It also helped strengthen the bondage with the local administration as well as with the prospective business community of Gwanju, it said.
Dhaka, Oct 27 (UNB) – The 10th edition of Bhawaiya Fest was held on Sunday evening at Shilpakala Academy, marking the 118th birth anniversary of Abbasuddin Ahmed, known as the ‘Bhawaiya King’.
Bhawaiya Angan, a research and performance institution dedicated to nurturing Bhawaiya song, arranged the programme hosted by its Chairperson Salma Mostafiz.
Guests at the event included Md Enamul Haque MP, legendary Bhawaiya artist-researcher and younger son of Abbasuddin, Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, and Bangladesh Betar Director General Narayan Chandra Shil.
Speaking on the soulful creations of the ‘Bhawaiya King’, Abbasi said: “Abbasuddin Ahmed was the creator of a whole new dimension in the history of Bangla folk music. He nurtured Bhawaiya songs within his soul.”
He criticised the television channels for not promoting Bhawaiya songs.
Bhawaiya Angan founding Director AKM Mostafizur Rahman said Rangpur is the motherland of Bhawaiya music. “It got popularity in the mainstream thanks to legendary artist Abbasuddin Ahmed. We’re building ‘Abbasuddin Mancha’ in Rangpur’s Bhawaiya Chattar in his honour,” he said.
A workshop on Bhawaiya song was conducted in the afternoon by Rahman. It was attended by 50 artists.
In the second part of the day-long celebration, Bhawaiya performers put on an amazing show. Twenty-five artists from Dhaka, Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Shariatpur, Cumilla and Gazipur paid tributes to Abbasuddin through their performances.
Dhaka, Oct 27 (UNB) - Entrepreneurs and designers from across the country showcased traditional and heritage products at the four-day ‘Heritage Handloom Festival-2019’ that ended here on Saturday.
The festival organised by SME Foundation and Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh (AFDB) with support from the Cultural Affairs Ministry began at Gardenia Grand Hall of Gulshan-2 on Wednesday to promote local handloom products and prevent the extinction of traditional items.
Planning Minister MA Mannan inaugurated it as the chief guest.
Products from as many as 15 sectors, including jute, Jamdani, Khadi, Rajshahi silk, cane, bamboo, folk art, Nakshi Kantha, Mirpur Benarasi, Tangail handloom, Sirajganj handloom, Rangamati handloom and Monipuri handloom, were displayed at 45 stalls during the festival.
Besides, seminars, fashion shows, folk dance and musical nights were also arranged on the occasion.