Monday MONITOR                  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

UPDATE: FILED BILLS CONTINUE TO SEEK MORE WAYS TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO WOMEN’S HEALTH

Rep. Koenig (R-99) has once again filed his medication abortion restriction bill, HB177.  This bill would make access to medication abortion (sometimes referred to as RU486) more onerous. It 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 bill also requires additional, unnecessary visits with the physician including a physical exam by the physician 24-hours in advance. It also requires physicians to obtain unattainable hospital privileges and increased insurance levels. 

More than 1.4 million women in the United States have chosen to safely end an early pregnancy with a medication abortion (sometimes referred to as ‘RU486’) since the drug was approved by the FDA in 2000.  This bill does nothing to protect the health of women or to actually prevent unintended pregnancy – instead, it only places needless burdens on abortion providers and women seeking safe and legal medical care. These unnecessary and burdensome requirements could also raise serious constitutional issues which may result in prolonged and expensive litigation.

DISTURBING AND VIOLENT LANGUAGE FROM A MAN HONORED IN MISSOURI’S CAPITOL ROTUNDA

On his January 16 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh responded to a caller by stating,” You know how to stop abortion?  Require that each one occur with a gun.”  PPMO does not agree with Mr. Limbaugh’s recommendation that shooting a woman is preferable to providing a safe, legal medical procedure.  The monumentally misguided decision to endorse Mr. Limbaugh’s use of offensive, violent and misogynist rhetoric by placing him in the Hall of Famous Missourians demands reconsideration.

40th ANNIVERSARY OF ROE V. WADE, CHECK OUT ROE EVENTS ACROSS THE STATE

  • KANSAS CITY. Tuesday, January 22, 6:00 to 8:30pm at The Screenland Crossroads, 1656 Washington. Join Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri for an evening with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, followed by the short film Motherhood by Choice and guest speakers who will remind us where we have been and what lies ahead regarding our vigilance to keep abortion safe and legal in Kansas and Missouri. Tickets are$10 or $40. For more info: Sara Ruzicka, 913.312.5100 x247 orsara.ruzicka@ppkm.org.
  • COLUMBIA. Tuesday, January 22, 11:30am to 1:00pm. Join friends and advocates outside the Health Center and stand up for Roe and for Planned Parenthood.
  • ST LOUIS. Thursday, January 24, 7:00pm to 9:00pm at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman.  Join the Freedom of Choice Council in “Looking Back: Moving Forward” a celebration of 40 years of Roe. Keynote remarks by Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, United Church of Christ, and a farewell to Alison Gee after 30 years advocating for reproductive health. Complimentary appetizers, desserts, drinks. Tickets $10, $25, $50+. For more info: Angie Postal angie.postal@ppslr.org.
  • SPRINGFIELD. Monday, January 28, 7:00pm at Q Enoteca, 308 W. Commercial Street, Springfield, MO. Join supporters of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and hear from Peggy Norr, wife of newly re-elected Representative Charlie Norr. Tickets $10, $25, $35+. Appetizers, desserts, soft drinks included; cash bar available.  For more info: Crystal Brigman, 417.883.3800 ext 809 or crystal.brigman@ppslr.org.

Look for recaps of our celebrations in next week’s Monitor!

2013 PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION OF BARACK OBAMA

PPMO celebrates the re-election of President Barack Obama!  President Obama has been a champion of women’s health, working to expand women’s access to affordable, quality care.  He’s done more for women’s health than any president in history and has stood with Planned Parenthood time and again when it mattered most. 

MEDICAID EXPANSION KICK-OFF

Last week the Missouri Medicaid Coalition held several press conferences across the state in an effort to build awareness surrounding Medicaid expansion in Missouri.  Hundreds gathered to show their support at kick-off events in Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and Springfield.   Expanding Missouri’s Medicaid Program will allow working families that don’t have employer sponsored health insurance and can’t afford health insurance on their own to have access to quality and affordable health care. This expansion will be at no cost to the state of Missouri for the first three years and at minimal cost after that. As a leading provider of quality, affordable health care to Missourians regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, Planned Parenthood knows this expansion is the RIGHT thing to do.

Backers of Medicaid expansion gear up to show legislative critics that 'we mean business' 

January 16, 2013-STL Beacon-By Jo Mannies (excerpt)

(Kirkwood, MO): As nurse practitioner Judith Gallagher related story after story of families or individuals who had no health insurance or had lost it – and couldn’t qualify for Medicaid in Missouri – she emphasized one common fact about each case.

“These are not people trying to get free rides from hardworking taxpayers,” Gallagher said, her voice rising. “These ARE hardworking taxpayers.” 

Gallagher was among a parade of speakers Wednesday addressing more than 100 people at the Kirkwood Baptist Church as part of a statewide kickoff of a campaign to persuade the Republican-dominated General Assembly to support the expansion of Medicaid in Missouri, as sought by the federal Affordable Care Act.  The kickoff comes as Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, is ramping up his campaign to expand Medicaid with another round of stops throughout the state to promote the idea. Nixon plans to include the expansion in his proposed budget.

So far, Republican legislative leaders – several of whom hail from the St. Louis area – are cool to the idea, even though the federal government would pick up the entire tab for the first three years of the expansion. After that, the federal share drops gradually to 90 percent.

State House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, is among the opponents who cite fiscal as well as philosophical reasons. They question whether the federal government can afford the cost while also opposing government getting more involved in health care.  Nationally, Republican governors appear divided. Although many have announced plans to reject Medicaid expansion, at least four – including Arizona’s Jan Brewer – now say they will participate, largely because of the federal money.

At Wednesday’s gathering, pro-Medicaid speakers contended that legislative opponents don’t understand the current landscape. Some uninsured speakers told of being unable to obtain insurance on their own because of health issues, such as being a cancer survivor.  Gallagher’s point was that an increasing number of Missouri workers have employers who don’t provide health insurance, even for full-time employees. Many workers can’t afford to purchase the coverage on their own at market rates, she said.

Megan Burke, a policy analyst at Paraquad, noted that Missouri’s current eligibility requirements are so strict that a family of three earning $3,500 a year doesn’t quality. The Missouri Hospital Association is seeking to increase the pressure on legislators, with some rural hospitals predicting they’ll close if the expansion doesn’t happen.

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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