Missouri’s state health director, Dr. Randall Williams, told officials at a state hearing that he tracked the menstrual periods of women who visited Planned Parenthood with a spreadsheet, the Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.
The spreadsheet, compiled at Williams’ request by the state’s main inspector, was used to identify patients who had undergone failed abortions, according to the Star.
CNN has reached out to the Missouri State Health Department and Williams for a response.
Williams’ testimony was part of an ongoing hearing in which the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic is fighting to continue performing abortions after the state refused to renew its license, which was supposed to expire on May 31. Testimony is expected to continue this week.
The state’s last abortion clinic, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, remains open. A final ruling on the clinic’s fate is not expected until February.
Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, called on Gov. Mike Parson to investigate the claim following the testimony.
“The revelation that Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams used the power of his position to personally track the menstrual periods of Planned Parenthood patients is deeply disturbing,” Quade said in a statement on her Facebook page. “State law requires the health department director to be ‘of recognized character and integrity.’ This unsettling behavior calls into question whether Doctor Williams meets that high standard. Governor Parson must immediately investigate whether patient privacy was compromised or laws broken and determine if this is a person who Missourians can be comfortable having in a position of public trust.”
Williams, an obstetrician and gynecologist, was named the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services and confirmed by the Missouri Senate in March 2017.