IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2013 Contact:
Michelle Trupiano 573.424.8717
HB457: DENIAL OF CARE BILL THREATENS TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE
HEATLHCARE IN MISSOURI
Jefferson City, MO — Today the Missouri House took up legislation (HB457) designed to
protect and encourage those who refuse to provide critical reproductive health
services to women in Missouri.
Missouri law already grants
protections to individuals who refuse to provide access to safe and legal
abortions. This bill unnecessarily expands the law to protect and encourage the
denial of birth control including emergency contraception to rape survivors,
sterilization, assisted reproduction and stem cell research. The bill also
allows medical professionals and institutions to deny referrals for the
necessary care if they refuse to provide it. Patients in need of care for a
range of reasons could be discriminated against and left without care they
- A rape victim could be denied information and access to
emergency contraception, even when it is the hospital’s policy to adhere
to these standards of care outlined by the American Medical Association,
the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other
- A woman with an ectopic pregnancy that isn’t considered life
threatening yet could be denied care, including a referral as to where to
receive care, until she comes back so sick that her life is in danger.
- A woman experiencing a miscarriage could be denied care
because her life is not considered to be at risk. This delay could
cause the woman to have serious health issues or even die.
- A patient at risk of contracting HIV could be refused
information about and access to contraception. Similarly, allowing
providers to deny contraceptive information and access could mean people
with HIV may unknowingly infect others.
- A married couple having trouble getting pregnant could be
refused time sensitive information about assisted reproduction and lose
their chance at having a child.
- A woman with a condition that significantly increases her
health risks during pregnancy, such as cancer, rheumatic fever, severe
diabetes, phlebitis, sickle cell anemia and heart disease, could be denied
information about how to prevent a pregnancy.
A woman should have accurate information about
all of her options. Information should
support a woman, help her make a decision for herself, and enable her to take
care of her health and well-being.
Information should not be
provided with the intent of coercing, shaming or judging a woman.
Planned Parenthood works hard each and every
day to provide essential — often life-saving — health care services. In fact,
last year nearly 80,000 women, men and teens came to Planned Parenthood
affiliates in Missouri for services such as cancer screenings, STD testing,
comprehensive sex education, and birth control.