In this edition of the MONITOR: an update on the status of HB 400 and information about the upcoming Veto Session, exciting news about the availability of emergency contraception, information about LGBT Pride celebrations across the state, and much more!
Monday June 17, 2013 Contact: Michelle Trupiano – 573.424.8717 (c)
PREPARING FOR VETO SESSION
The Missouri Legislature passed HB400 (Riddle, R-Mokane) during the 2013 session. HB400 bans the provision of non-surgical abortion through telemedicine, limiting access to abortion services especially in rural areas. Currently HB400 is sitting on Governor Nixon’s desk and Planned Parenthood urges Governor Nixon to veto this bill.
Women in the United States have been safely and legally using non-surgical abortion for over a decade. Non-surgical abortion gives a woman the option of a more private and less invasive method of ending a pregnancy in a setting in which she feels most comfortable. People in rural areas often have to drive very long distances to see a doctor in person. Health care centers, particularly in these areas, increasingly use telemedicine services for patients to receive quality medical care. The Legislature’s attempt to ban safe and effective non-surgical abortion through telemedicine leaves rural Missourians behind when it comes to the latest advances in medical technology.
The Missouri Legislature is following a disturbing trend in state legislatures across the country. Just months after women’s health was a determining issue in an historic election, hundreds of bills to restrict access to health care were introduced in 42 states, putting politicians between a woman and her doctor. On behalf of supporters throughout Missouri, Planned Parenthood calls on Governor Nixon to stand up and say no to these attempts to further erode reproductive rights and women’s health care.
At a time when the Missouri legislature should be focusing on creating jobs, expanding Medicaid, and fixing the economy, it is troublesome to find the legislature, yet again, restricting access to reproductive health care for women. HB400 is the wrong priority for Missouri and does nothing to protect the health of women or to actually prevent unintended pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri has asked Governor Nixon to veto HB400. You can also voice your opposition to the bill here.
EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION VICTORY
On June 10th, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Food and Drug Administration will comply with a federal judge’s order this spring and approve efforts to make emergency contraception available without any age restrictions. This is a major breakthrough for access to birth control. Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards released the following statement hailing the announcement by the Obama Administration:
“This is a huge breakthrough for access to birth control and an historic moment for women’s health and equity. The FDA’s decision will make emergency contraception available on store shelves, just like condoms, and women of all ages will be able to get it quickly in order to prevent unintended pregnancy.
U.S. HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES A NATIONAL 20-WEEK ABORTION BAN
Planned Parenthood denounces the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s passage of a dangerous and unconstitutional bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks nationwide — interfering in a woman’s ability to make personal decisions about her pregnancy in consultation with her doctor. The committee specifically rejected an amendment to create exceptions and Speaker Boehner has already committed to giving it a vote in the House next week. This committee passed the bill on June 12th.
On June 7th, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a national organization representing thousands of women’s health experts, came out against these types of abortion restrictions, reinforcing how dangerous these restrictions are to patients’ health and safety.
The bill’s sponsor Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), apparently another graduate of the Todd Akin school of medicine, argued against a proposed amendment to make exceptions in the case of rape or incest for his nationwide 20-week abortion ban, saying that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”
Views like this aren’t just wrong (an estimated 25,000 pregnancies result from rape each year) —they’re dangerous. Tell House leadership to stop these relentless attacks on women’s health and rights:http://ppaction.org/stoptheban
JUNE IS PRIDE MONTH!
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, an annual month-long observance of LGBT history, community, and activism, celebrated worldwide with marches, festivals and other events. Pride Month is held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, a tipping point for the modern LGBT movement in the U.S.
Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood cares passionately about helping women, men and young people lead healthy lives, no matter who they love and no matter where they live. Planned Parenthood believes reproductive rights are deeply connected to LGBT rights; this recap from January’s Creating Change Conference clearly outlines many of the connections between the fight for reproductive and LGBT rights.
Be happy, healthy and celebrate who you are. Happy PRIDE MONTH! Check out our Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri Facebook page for a list of scheduled events around the state. Here’s a report on 2013 Pride events so far:
JOPLIN PRIDE EVENT
Joplin had its Pride Event on June 8th at the Schifferdecker Park Bandstand. Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri once again attended to celebrate PRIDE month and distribute information about safer sex, healthy relationships and the services our health centers provide. Free condoms and other great Planned Parenthood swag was given away to attendees of Joplin Pride 2013.
KANSAS CITY PRIDE EVENT
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri hosted a table at the Kansas City Pride Festival on June 1st from 12 to 8 p.m. Eight volunteers collected 95 petitions, distributed more than 80 safe sex kits, 70 condoms and 150 Planned Parenthood buttons.