Monday MONITOR                  

Monday, February 4, 2013

UPDATE: FILED BILLS FOR THE WEEK OF JANUARY 28th, 2013

Rep. McCaherty (R-97) filed HB 386 which establishes the Abortion Ban for Sex Selection and Genetic Abnormalities Act of 2013 to prohibit abortions for the purpose of sex selection or genetic abnormalities. Opponents of abortion continue to look for new and different angles on intervening in personal and private decisions and playing politics with women’s health. A woman should not be forced by politicians to carry to term a fetus that has a genetic abnormality that may be incompatible with life. Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman, and politicians should not be involved.

Rep. Riddle (R-49) filed HB 400.  The bill establishes the requirements for the administration of RU-486 and other abortion-inducing drugs and chemicals. This bill would make access to non-surgical abortion (sometimes referred to as RU486) more onerous. The bill prohibits physicians from following the evidence based, preferred regimen and requires all medication be administered in the physical presence of the physician in a hospital or an ambulatory surgical center despite the fact that dispensing two pills is not a surgical procedure.  

AMENDMENTS OFFERED TO HOUSE BILL 87 TAX CREDITS FOR PREGNANCY RESOURCE CENTERS

Rep. Montecillo (D-92) offered an amendment to HB87 during this week’s executive session.  The amendment requires that Pregnancy Resource Centers provide “medically and factually accurate and objective information that is verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods that is recognized as accurate and objective by leading professional organization and agencies with relevant expertise in the field, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist.” 

The amendment also stipulates that “a pregnancy resource center shall lose its status as a pregnancy resource center under this section if it is determined that the pregnancy resource center has provided information that is either medically or factually inaccurate.”

If pregnancy resource centers are going to claim to provide medical care AND receive tax credits from the state of Missouri they should be regulated, especially as these centers often push sectarian religion and provide false medical information.

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: FIGHTING FOR THE HEALTHIEST GENERATION

Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate African-American champions of women’s health and reinforce the need to address and redress the pressing and persistent issues of sexual and reproductive health disparities and their devastating impact on the African-American community. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7th, is an opportunity for people to raise awareness about this pandemic and unite in the fight against HIV in the African-American community.  We’ve made great progress so far, but there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately, young people still make up about 40 percent of all new infections, and African Americans are disproportionately affected by high HIV/AIDS rates.

There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in this country, including more than 500,000 African Americans. African Americans account for almost half of all HIV infections in the U.S., and are the racial/ethnic demographic group most affected by HIV. There are a number of reasons why HIV remains such a problem for African Americans, including lack of insurance and access to health care.

African-American women are more likely to be uninsured or under-insured than white women, and they often are forced to delay care because they lack the resources to pay for it, making it much more difficult to obtain health care — including sexual and reproductive health care services. Unfortunately, that also means less education about the risks of infection and opportunities for counseling, testing, and treatment.  As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in Missouri, we know firsthand why it’s so critical that women and men in the African-American community have access to a wide-range of preventive health care services. Planned Parenthood is among the nation’s leading providers of HIV screening. In 2011, Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conducted 680,000 HIV tests, a 16 percent increase from 2010. Moreover, one in three women who receive an HIV test is tested at a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is here for the African-American community — providing care. No matter what. 

RECAP OF ROE V. WADE EVENT IN SPRINGFIELD

SPRINGFIELD: Over fifty supporters came out to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade enjoying an evening of wine and appetizers courtesy of Q Enoteca.  Peggy Norr was on hand to deliver comments from her husband, the honorable Representative Charlie Norr, who called upon politicians to abandon polarizing labels, focus on prevention, and to respect women's real-life circumstances and private, personal health care decisions.

NEW REGULATIONS UNDER THE ACA ENSURE WOMEN ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL

On Friday, February 1, 2013 Planned Parenthood said that the revised accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit will ensure that women can access no co-pay birth control as part of basic health care. Following is a statement issued by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:  

“This policy delivers on the promise of women having access to birth control without co-pays no matter where they work. Of course, we are reviewing the technical aspects of this proposal, but the principle is clear and consistent. This policy makes it clear that your boss does not get to decide whether you can have birth control.”

Read more -> http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/planned-parenthood-says-new-regulations-ensure-women-can-get-birth-control-no-cost-40886.htm?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_content=birthcontrol&utm_campaign=ppact

Obama offers faith groups new birth control rule

February 1, 2013-AP Story (Excerpted)

WASHINGTON • The Obama administration on Friday proposed a work-around for religious nonprofits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control.

The government's new regulation attempts to create a barrier between religious groups and contraception coverage, through insurers or a third party, that would still give women free access to contraception. It wasn't immediately clear whether would accept the new approach, or whether it would stem the tide of lawsuits across the country that have challenged the requirement to provide such coverage.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had no immediate reaction, saying it was studying the regulations. Policy analyst Sarah Lipton-Lubet of the American Civil Liberties Union said the rule appeared to meet the ACLU's goal of providing "seamless coverage" of birth control for the affected women.

In its new rule, the Department of Health and Human Services argued that the change wouldn't impose new costs on insurers because it would save them money "from improvements in women's health and fewer child births."

The new health care law requires most employers, including faith-affiliated hospitals and nonprofits, to provide health insurance that includes artificial contraception, including sterilization, as a free preventive service. The goal, in part, is to help women space out pregnancies to promote health.

Under the original rule, only those religious groups which primarily employ and serve people of their own faith — such as churches — were exempt. But other religiously affiliated groups, such as church-affiliated universities and Catholic Charities, were told they had to comply.

Roman Catholic bishops, evangelicals and some religious leaders who have generally been supportive of Obama's policies lobbied fiercely for a broader exemption. The Catholic Church prohibits the use of artificial contraception. Evangelicals generally permit the use of birth control, but some object to specific methods such as the morning-after contraceptive pill, which they argue is tantamount to abortion.

Obama had promised to change the birth control requirement so insurance companies — and not faith-affiliated employers — would pay for the coverage, but religious leaders said more changes were needed to make the plan work.

Since then, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed by religious nonprofits and secular for-profit businesses claiming the mandate violates their religious beliefs. As expected, this latest regulation does not provide any accommodation for individual business owners who have religious objections to the rule.

Read the entire article: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/judge-dismisses-st-louis-archdiocese-s-lawsuit-challenging-contraception-mandate/article_24b5a11e-759f-5a1e-923f-1db75bb30c8c.html

 

WATCH FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD ADVOCATES UNDER THE DOME

LOBBY DAY: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

For more information on upcoming lobby days contact:

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

Angie.Postal@ppslr.org - St. Louis area - (314) 531-7526 ext 334

Martha.Stevens@ppkm.org - Columbia/Mid-MO

Sheila.Kostas@ppkm.org - KC area - (913) 312-5100 ext 246

 

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