Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri are deeply disappointed that Governor Nixon allowed HB 400 to become law. Decisions about women’s health should be made by a woman, her faith, and her family in consultation with her doctors. Unfortunately, politicians in the Missouri Legislature seem to want to play the role of doctor—acting as “Gynoticians.”

Tell these Gynoticians to leave women’s health up to the real experts –women and their doctors. TAKE ACTION NOW.

In this edition of the MONITOR: more about HB 400, a recap of LGBT Pride events, and much more!


Pamela Merritt                                                  
Statewide Digital and Data Coordinator
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri


Tuesday July 23rd, 2013                                              

Contact:  M’Evie Mead (o) 314-531-7526


     Governor Nixon allowed HB400 to become law, advancing additional unnecessary restrictions on non-surgical abortion, a very safe medical procedure. The bill comes on the heels of two other misguided efforts to reduce access to birth control at pharmacies (SB126) and divert $2.5 million in tax funds to unlicensed and discredited pregnancy resource centers (SB20 & HB698).  The Missouri Legislature advanced proposals designed to endanger women’s health while failing to expand Medicaid.

     HB400 is another harmful restriction, in a long list of restrictions that does absolutely nothing to prevent unintended pregnancy. The Missouri Legislature has placed women’s health at risk by choosing to divert tax credits to unlicensed, discredited pregnancy resource centers while refusing to increase access to preventive and life-saving health care through Medicaid expansion.

     If the legislature truly cared about reducing the number of abortions in Missouri, they would send legislation to the Governor that increases access to family planning services and provides Missouri’s youth with comprehensive sex education.


     June was Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ) Pride Month, an annual month-long observance of LGBTQ history, community and activism, celebrated worldwide with marches, festivals and other events.


     Despite thunderstorms and heavy rainfall, Planned Parenthood had a strong presence at this year’s St. Louis Pridefest on June 29 and 30.  Thanks to all of the dedicated and enthusiastic Planned Parenthood volunteers, over 4,000 petitions were collected, and nearly 175 “Penis Pro”, “Vagina Expert” and transgender symbol t-shirts were sold. Throughout the weekend, a total of 120 volunteers staffed the Planned Parenthood table, sold t-shirts, gathered petitions and marched in the parade.  Planned Parenthood was met with overwhelming support, and for most of the weekend, including during downpours, a constant line was formed at the booth.  In keeping with Planned Parenthood’s motto of “Care. No Matter What.”, volunteers informed thousands of festival participants about the services Planned Parenthood offers regardless of sex or sexual orientation


     Springfield celebrated Greater Ozarks Pridefest on Saturday, June 15th. Despite monsoon-like conditions that eventually ended the outdoor festivities early, Planned Parenthood supporters and volunteers were out in full force.  Amid the flooding rain and storm sirens, Pride attendees were practically standing in line to sign Planned Parenthood’s petition and wear our new “PROUD” pins. We gathered over 150 signatures in only about two hours.  Planned Parenthood proudly marched in Springfield’s inaugural March for Equality in solidarity with our LGBTQ community.

SWMO Pride 2013

Springfield Pridefest 2013


July 17, 2013~Editoral~St. Louis Post Dispatch 

     Shouldn’t politicians who explain their zeal for restricting abortion rights by claiming to embrace a “culture of life” also be working to reduce America’s high infant mortality rate?

     Shouldn’t a truly pro-life politician also be willing to help sustain life when a lucky baby actually makes it out of the neo-natal intensive care unit? If so, why did so many Republican members of the U.S. House vote last week to strip food-stamp funding (even at a reduced level) out of the Farm Bill and allow agricultural subsidies to move forward?

     As the former Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, Barney Frank, once famously said about anti-choice legislators: “(They) believe life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

     Republican-backed legislation across the country this year has resulted in major restrictions on abortion access at the same time the GOP lawmakers also have been reversing or ignoring sex education efforts. Many of them also have been grandstanding on the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, ignoring the fact that birth control is the most effective way to reduce abortions.

     Meanwhile, Congress has done nothing of substance to reverse the nation’s unforgivably high infant mortality rate. Is there a pattern here?

     The phrase “culture of life” was popularized by Pope John Paul II in 1993. He was talking about abortion and euthanasia, but made it clear in an encyclical in 1995 that Catholic moral theology holds that human life is sacred at all stages. It will be recalled in 1999, at John Paul’s personal request, then-Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan commuted the death sentence of a triple murderer.

     Republican George W. Bush, who signed death warrants for 152 prisoners during his five years as governor of Texas, adopted “culture of life” during the 2000 presidential campaign. The phrase, if not its all-encompassing meaning, became a standard part of GOP campaign rhetoric.

     A broad culture of life would make lower infant mortality rates a national high priority. It would help feed infants and children and help their mothers get health care, and maybe even educations. It would help women avoid unintended pregnancies.

     Consider the statistics on infant mortality. In 2010, among 41 developed nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranked 35th, just slightly better than Chile.

     Missouri is part of the “culture of some life” trend. House Bill 400 was not signed by Gov. Jay Nixon. The Democratic governor’s inaction causes it to become law on Aug. 28.

     The measure effectively prohibits the use of telemedicine for abortions using abortifacient drugs by making it mandatory that a doctor be in the room for the initial dose of the drug. Opponents argued that the medical procedure is safe and that requiring a doctor will be particularly difficult for women in rural Missouri who often have to drive long distances to see a doctor in person.

     The argument by proponents that this merely protects women’s health is bogus. It is another harmful restriction that does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies or to help women be healthier.

     Why is it bogus? Because the Legislature passed — and Mr. Nixon signed — House Bill 315. It gives more freedom to physician assistants. They no longer will have to be supervised by a doctor within 30 miles of their practice, nor will a doctor have to be present two-thirds of the time that physician assistants are taking care of patients.

     The easing of restrictions on physician assistants is possible in part because of telemedicine — but telemedicine isn’t good enough when abortion-inducing drugs are administered.

     Meanwhile, Missouri’s lawmakers let the Comprehensive Sex Education Act die in committee. The bill required that instruction on human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases be age-appropriate and medically and factually accurate.

     It required course instruction to present abstinence as the preferred behavior, but to also include information about contraception. The bill also would have repealed the ban on abortion providers giving sex instruction.

     Those on both sides of the choice issue would have gotten and given up something in that bill. In Missouri these days, compromise has a reputation almost as bad as abortion.

     The same Legislature also refused to expand Medicaid services for poor people, even though the federal government would pick up the costs. More sick people, more early deaths, more unplanned pregnancies and thus more abortions. Some culture of life.


     Did you know it's Purposeful Parenting Month? Take time to talk with your kids about sex and sexuality. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier with time and practice.

     Check out this short video for tips on how to get started. VIDEO