Monday MONITOR                  

Monday, February 18, 2013 

UPDATE: FILED BILLS CONTINUE TO SEEK MORE WAYS TO QUESTION THE CHOICES OF WOMEN

Senator Rupp (R-2) filed SB 318 this week.  SB318 modifies the laws on abortion reporting and recordkeeping requirements.  The report shall also include information on the type of abortion procedure used, including the specific surgical or nonsurgical method or the specific abortion-inducing drug or drugs employed. In addition, the report shall include the reason or reasons the woman sought the abortion, including specific medical, social, economic, or other factors and whether the woman used any method of family planning during the time she became pregnant, and if so, the specific method employed.

TONIGHT: SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING 

On Monday February 18th, SB84, SB50 and SB175 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. 

SB84 (Rupp, R-2) Expansion of Medical Refusal Provision (including denial of contraception).

This bill specifically singles out women’s reproductive health care, including information and access to emergency contraception for rape survivors, for refusal of care.  Current Missouri law already grants protections to individuals who refuse to provide abortion care, but this bill protects and encourages the denial of contraception, sterilization, assisted reproduction and stem cell research.  Denying information and access to emergency contraception to rape survivors is unconscionable.

SB50 (Wallingford, R-27) Hypocrisy of Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC). This bill ensures PRCs can NEVER be regulated by any political sub-division.  PRCs #1 goal is to make sure a woman continues with her pregnancy regardless of her specific situation. PRCs are on record providing false and misleading information to vulnerable women and are currently not required to provide medically factual or accurate information.  In contrast, abortion providers adhere to more than 30 laws, regulations, and unnecessary restrictions, including providing state-mandated information to women seeking abortion services, mandatory delays, and a narrow list of licensed personnel who may provide the counseling.  This bill would place PRCs above the law.

SB175 (Wallingford, R-27) Restriction on Non-Surgical Abortion. This bill would make access to non-surgical abortion (sometimes referred to as RU486) more onerous. SB175 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.  This requirement would force the patient to visit the health center 4 times.

GREAT TURNOUT FOR OUR FIRST LOBBY DAY OF THE YEAR

On Tuesday February 12th, over 50 volunteers spent the day under the dome meeting with Missouri legislators. Volunteers from across the state, including Teen Advocates for Sexual Health (TASH) were in attendance for our first lobby day. The focus of the lobby day was to provide information about the preventive health care services offered by Planned Parenthood and to ask for co-sponsors for the 2013 Comprehensive Sexuality Education Act that is being sponsored by Rep. Clem Smith (D-85) and Senator Jolie Justus (D-10).

Improving access to preventive health care and supporting healthy families should be a shared goal in Missouri.  If we are committed to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in Missouri, we must get to the root of the problem through common sense prevention programs.  Ensuring comprehensive sexuality and reproductive health education in schools is key to prevention. The 2013 Comprehensive Sexuality Education Act would once again allow trained sex education professionals to be invited into public schools and would require voluntary sex education courses to include medically accurate information on both abstinence and the benefits of contraception and STI prevention.  The bill also addresses issues of internet safety from predators, as well as the unforeseen consequences of “sexting.”

NEW CDC STUDY SHOWS BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS IS CRITICAL FOR WOMEN

Planned Parenthood: Data Underscores Importance of Affordable Care Act’s Birth Control Benefit

St. Louis, MO — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results of the agency’s first publication on the use of emergency contraception in the United States, showing a rise in emergency contraception usage while repeated use emergency contraception is extremely low.  In addition, a second study tracked trends in birth control use from 1982 to 2010 and reinforces that almost all women (99 percent) at some point in their lives have used contraception, regardless of their background or religious affiliation. The study also shows that the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) is increasing.

In response to these groundbreaking results, Paula Gianino, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri issued the following statement:

“We are unwavering in our belief that all people deserve high quality, affordable health care. Both of these studies underscore the importance of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which gives women coverage without co-pays for the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Birth control works, but only if women have access to it — no matter who they are, where they live or how much money they have.”

Public polling finds overwhelming support for women’s access to birth control:

  • —Seven in ten Americans (70 percent) believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services, according to an October 2012 poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The Contraceptive CHOICE Study released last fall demonstrated that access to no co-pay birth control — as is outlined in the Affordable Care Act — leads to significantly lowered unintended pregnancy and abortion rates.

Access to affordable birth control benefits women and their families:

  • —Birth control has contributed to the advancement of women in the workplace by allowing them to plan for their futures and invest in their careers.
  • Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men.
  • By the 1980s and ’90s, the women who had early access to the pill were making eight percent more each year than those who did not.

ONE BILLION RISING EVENTS IN MISSOURI

Planned Parenthood partnered with One Billion Rising, an effort organized by Eve Ensler to rally one billion people around the world to stand up against violence against women on February 14th, 2013. Events took place across the world and in Missouri State!

Columbia, MO: Columbia Holds V-Day Dance Against Violence by Xiaoyun Wu (KOMU.COM) 

COLUMBIA - Around 50 people showed up at Columbia Rising V-Day Dance in the Stephen's Lake Park Reichmann Pavilion Thursday night to celebrate the lives of women against gender violence.

Columbia joined the worldwide One Billion Rising movement, and held a series of events around Valentine's Day. This was the first time the organization held a dance party.

"The idea is that, at least or more than one billion people today have in some ways rose up, stood up, spoke out, danced, gathered, saying we no longer want gender violence to be a marginalized issue," said Victoria Day, one of the event organizers.

Admission was free, but organizers collected donations that will go to the Columbia True North Shelter. The sponsors were Columbia NOW, Mid-Missouri Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Victoria Day, and Occupy COMO.

About half of the people who showed up were males. Evan Prost, who donated $20 at the event, said it was meaningful, especially to have it on Valentine's Day.

"Love shouldn't hurt. Love should always be care and affection, and shouldn't be power over anyone. That's the message," Prost said.

St. Louis, MO: On February 14th, more than 400 St. Louisans gathered at the Missouri History Museum as part of the international One Billion Rising movement to break the chain of violence again women and girls. Hosted by St. Louis-based Safe Connections, the event included speakers from Safe Connections and Sista Keepers and a choreographed dance performed as a flash mob. Attendees included local high school students, area college and graduate students, individuals from multiple St. Louis service providers, and many people personally affected by violence.

News coverage: http://fox2now.com/2013/02/14/dance-flash-mob-to-stop-violence-against-women/

PRESIDENT OBAMA SUPPORTS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

 “We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence.  Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the house to do the same.” President Barack Obama, State of the Union, February 12, 2013.

Thank you, President Obama, for focusing on the Violence Against Women Act (in addition to child care, equal pay, and more!) at the State of the Union address on February 12th, 2013.  This is why women re-elected you!  Congress needs to step up. 

WATCH FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD ADVOCATES UNDER THE DOME

LOBBY DAY: March 13th , 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 (573) 443-0427 ext 228

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


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