Monday MONITOR                  

Monday, April 22, 2013 

Contact:  Michelle Trupiano – 573.424.8717 (c)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

     HB457, the Denial of Care Bill, was heard in Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Monday, April 15.  Testifying in opposition was Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri, ACLU, MO Hospital Association and the Stowers Institute.  Since the committee had already heard the Senate version of the bill, there was not much discussion.  The bill was voted out and is now on the Senate calendar.

HB 400 PASSED IN THE HOUSE

     Last week Rep. Riddle’s (R-49) Non-Surgical Abortion Restrictions bill HB400 was briefly debated and passed the house with a vote of 115-39.  This bill unnecessarily requires that a woman come back to the health center to receive the second medication, forcing her to make a total of four visits (24 hour consent, taking the first medication, taking the second medication, follow-up visit).

     More than 1.4 million women in the United States have chosen to safely end an early pregnancy with a non-surgical abortion (sometimes referred to as ‘RU486’) since the drug was approved by the FDA in 2000. This bill does nothing to protect the health of women or to actually prevent unintended pregnancy – instead, it only places needless burdens on abortion providers and women seeking safe and legal medical care.

     The bill moves to the Senate which has already advanced a companion bill SB175 through the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

MEDICAID EXPANSION RALLY DRAWS OVER 2000 SUPPORTERS UNDER THE DOME!

By Collin Reischman - Missouri Times ~ Wednesday April 17thExcerpted       

     Some 2,000 people and 171 organizations gathered in the Capitol Tuesday to express support for expansion of Medicaid, currently being debated in statehouses across the country as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Jay Nixon delivered the keynote address at the rally, stating that it was a call for action from wary lawmakers.         

     “This is not a protest, this is a chance for us to come together, to stand united, and have our chorus of voices heard for a common purpose,” Nixon said. “We want to make sure every representative, every senator in every office of every corner of this lovely building can hear our common purpose. We want them to know, now is the time.”

     The crowd was largely a mix of union workers, health care employees, and advocates. Twelve speakers, including Nixon, called on the crowd to voice their desire for expansion to their representatives.

     The rally, designed to highlight a wide-range of support for Medicaid expansion, featured students, police officers, doctors, executives and clergymen. Dr. Rev. Doyle Sager, president of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri, said Medicaid expansion was a moral imperative.

     “God will judge us on what we do for hundreds of thousands of our fellow man,” Sager said. “All citizens are deserving of the dignity bestowed on us by our creator. Make this happen, and let justice flow like water, and righteous like a mighty stream.”

     Speakers repeatedly told the crowd that expansion was the best fiscal decision the state could make and the best way to lower healthcare costs, assertions frequently challenged by Republican lawmakers.

     Sean Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, said Republican legislators were using the news of the discontinuation of Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments as a “cop out” to avoid meaningful reform for Medicaid. .. 

     Nicholson also suggested that some of the recent controversy surrounding the Department of Revenue was a distraction from the issue of Medicaid, calling the sudden interest in the issue by the majority an “interesting coincidence.”

     “I think [the Republicans] flail because they have no good response to this plan,” Nicholson said.

To read the entire article and view photos from the rally follow the LINK

BARRIER-FREE ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION IS CRUCIAL

April 18th, 2013 ~ Letters to the Editor ~ St. Louis Post Dispatch

     As an obstetrician/gynecologist, I applaud the editorial board of the Post-Dispatch for their well-researched and thoughtful editorial “Reducing abortion” (April 12).

     The importance of barrier-free access to all methods of contraception is crucial to decreasing the unintended pregnancy rate in Missouri and nationwide. Ensuring that all women who may need emergency contraceptive pills can get them without delay is even more important because the sooner it is taken after under-/unprotected sex, the more effective it is at preventing conception. Therefore, I too, was thrilled by the court decision to make Plan B available over the counter for women of all ages.

     I am saddened that proposed legislation in Missouri, a "freedom of conscience act" for pharmacists, is moving in the opposite direction and aiming to decrease access to contraception. I have taken care of women who despite every effort to prevent pregnancy find themselves needing additional protection because sometimes things don’t work out as planned. And, you don’t realize till the “morning after.” Women rely on their local pharmacy to serve them in their time of need, not force them to go elsewhere because of their pharmacy’s faith or politics.

Dr. David L. Eisenberg  •  St. Louis

WOMEN MUST ASSERT CONTROL OVER THEIR BODIES

April 9th, 2013~Letters to the Editor~News-Leader.com

     Pregnancy is hard, physical and dangerous work. I wish you could ask my late grandmother about it. She gave birth 19 times. Not a task to undertake lightly, pregnancy is a major difference between the sexes. Women can die from pregnancy complications and child birth. Men take little physical risk with their part of the sex act.

     Yet, in statehouse after statehouse, male-dominated Republican legislatures want to force women into the physical servitude that is the pregnant state. Little concern has been given to the balancing of rights between a fetus and the mother. Old invalid laws that ban abortion stay on state books, waiting for Roe v Wade to fall. This is not a state rights issue, it’s a women’s issue.

     To force pregnancy upon a woman is nothing less than involuntary servitude. We ended slavery in this country with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. But some would bring back involuntary servitude, except let’s call it by its other name — an unwanted pregnancy — a usurpation of a woman’s body.

     Dark Ages thinking has taken over in conservative-dominated state legislatures, the most recent in North Dakota. That body has just passed a law to say life begins once a fetal heart beat is heard, which can be as soon as six weeks.

     The law is unconstitutional and a real thumbing-of-the-nose at women, who are the ones who give their bodies over to a biological process. Once pregnant, a woman shares her body with a parasite that — up to 24 to 28 weeks — most likely can’t survive outside her uterus. Federal law protects a fetus once it reaches viability. Before then, the woman and then later she and her doctor decide whether to end a pregnancy — giving due thought to her mental and physical health.

     A wanted pregnancy is a glorious thing, but it’s not for the faint-of-heart. Neither of my pregnancies were planned, but I was married and wanted children. Despite the fact I took the bar exam during my eighth month with a bulky body, aching back and legs, it never occurred to me to terminate in the early months. But it was my choice — and that’s the thing.

     Just last Thursday, a majority of state senators sent a law to the House of Representatives to limit even the prevention of conception by making the morning-after pill less available.

     A bill — under the guise of promoting a legitimate business need — allows pharmacies not be required to stock the morning-after pill despite a ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that says the pill must be made available. Sheer idiocy.

     My grandmother would have loved to have had the morning-after pill. Most of her teen and adult life, she had a baby in her womb, one or two at her breast, and others tugging her skirts. Missouri’s Senate wants to take us back in time.

     This is an issue for men and women, but primarily we women must take charge, just as we did in the ’60s and ’70s. It’s time for us to get uppity again.

Cheryl Capages is a former staffer for the News-Leader, the Tulsa Daily World and the Springfield Business Journal. She is a mother, grandmother, lawyer and flower farmer who lives just outside of town.

 

WATCH FOR OUR LAST LOBBY DAY ON MAY 7TH

For more information on upcoming lobby days contact:

Crystal.Brigman@ppslr.org - Springfield/SWMO - (417) 883-3800 ext 809

 Alison.Drieth@ppslr.org - St. Louis area - (314) 531-7526 ext 334

Martha.Stevens@ppkm.org – Columbia/Mid-MO (573) 443-0427 ext 228   

Erin.Heger@ppkm.org- KC area –(913-312-5100) x257

 

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