February 3rd, 2014
HEARINGS, HEARING, HEARINGS
On Wednesday, January 29th, the House Health Care Policy Committee voted to advance HB1307, sponsored by Rep. Elmer (R-99) and HB1313, sponsored by Rep. Frederick(R-121), both of which would extend the mandatory waiting period for abortion services to 72 hours. The challenges women may face in scheduling travel, childcare and work arrangements to get doctors’ appointments 72 hour apart means that the abortion procedure could be forced later into the pregnancy, posing a senseless risk to women’s health. The bills now go to the House Rules Committee and, if approved, will proceed to the House floor for debate.
Denial of Care Bill HB1430
Also during the House Health Care Policy Committee, supporters and opponents of Speaker Tim Jones’s HB1430 testified. HB1430 specifies that anyone providing medical services cannot be required to perform or participate in activities that violate his or her conscience or principles. Pharmacists, physicians, and other medical clinicians have professional and ethical responsibilities to their patients. These bills specifically single out women’s reproductive health care, including information and access to emergency contraception for rape survivors, for refusal of care.
Senate Action on Extended Mandatory Delay to 72 Hours SB519
On Monday January 27th the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony on SB519. This is the senate version of the 72 hour mandatory delay bill. Several citizens testified against this bill. WATCH the testimony here. Also you can read more about the hearing here. The Judiciary Committee did not vote on the bill that evening.
Increased Tax Credits for Pregnancy Resource Centers HB1132
On Tuesday January 28th, the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on HB1132. Currently, taxpayers who make donations to a pregnancy resource center (PRC) may be eligible for an income tax credit. The amount of tax credits that may be issued in a fiscal year is limited to $2 million. HB1132 seeks to increase the cap to $2.5 million, beginning with the 2015 fiscal year. Many PRCs employ religiosity, misinformation, and unfulfilled promises of assistance to persuade women to continue their pregnancy. The state should not be using tax incentives to fund organizations that lure vulnerable women by misrepresenting their services and fail to deliver medically accurate information.
Ban on Abortions HB1585
Rep. Koenig (R-99) has filed HB1585. HB1585 seeks to ban abortions based on sex selection or genetic abnormalities. This legislation is harsh and punitive and takes options away from families that have received devastating news about much wanted pregnancies. Some pregnancies end in miscarriage, sometimes the woman develops serious complications, and sometimes she finds out there’s something seriously wrong with the pregnancy. The decision of what to do when faced with a diagnosis of potentially serious genetic anomalies is deeply personal, painful, and complex. No one, especially not the government, should be able to make a decision for that family.
Recent attempts to restrict or deny access to safe abortion under the guise of preventing gender bias is primarily a political tactic of groups that work to make abortion illegal, harmful to women’s health, and counter to a human rights agenda. Planned Parenthood opposes legislation that strips nonjudgmental, high-quality care from women in need and that intrudes on the doctor/patient relationship by requiring doctors to become investigators and patients their suspects.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE UPCOMING ROE EVENT IN SPRINGFIELD!
Springfield: Join Planned Parenthood in Southwest Missouri to
celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Roe
v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Suggested contributions: $10, $25, $50+ Contact: Lauren.firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Every February, we celebrate the achievements of the African-American community and the advances that have been made toward full racial equality. At the same time, Black History Month reminds us that there is still work to be done, especially when it comes to equality in health care.
In the U.S. today, African-American women face barriers to accessing the health care that would improve both their lives and the lives of those around them. Particularly in the South, many people do not have access to affordable, high-quality health care. As a result, African-American women are dying at higher rates than their white counterparts due to breast cancer, cervical cancer, HIV, and other illnesses that can be detected early.
Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act has laid the groundwork to provide nearly 6.8 million uninsured African Americans the opportunity for affordable health insurance. African Americans are more than 55 percent more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts — a staggering gap that we can reduce by making sure that people understand their options under the Affordable Care Act and have the information and tools they need to enroll in new health insurance plans.
Under the ACA, insured Americans have access to critical preventive health care services such as annual wellness exams and contraception without copays, and they cannot be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions like being HIV-positive, having breast cancer, or being a victim of domestic violence.
The history of the reproductive rights movement is as complicated as the nation’s, but throughout our history, Planned Parenthood and the black community have worked together to break down barriers to health care access posed by poverty, racism, and politics. Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care — no matter who they are and where they live. We believe that when people are truly cared for, they make their lives, families, and communities stronger.
As we celebrate Black History Month, let us remember the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” We must work together to ensure that access to quality, affordable health care is available to every person — regardless of race, resources, or zip code.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S FIRST LOBBY DAY!
On Tuesday January 28th Planned Parenthood advocates from across the state attended our first lobby day of the year. Thirty-nine citizens met with legislators to educate them about the dangerous House and Senate bills that are quickly moving through committee. Advocates met with members of the House and Senate to ask them to fight HB1313, HB1307 and SB519. These bills would extend the current mandatory waiting period for abortion from 24 to 72 hours – three times longer than what the Supreme Court has said is constitutional. Forcing a woman to wait even longer before accessing medical care does nothing to improve her health and will push her abortion later in pregnancy.
Join us for our next
Planned Parenthood Lobby Day on February 12th