Learn more about the end to the Federal Government Shutdown, the associated attempts to undercut women's access to preventive care under Obamacare. Also learn more about the exciting new outreach Planned Parenthood is doing to educate and enroll our supporters into new, more affordable health insurance plans.

Also in this edition of the MONITOR: a recap of supporters' Letters to the Editor on Medicaid Expansion, a spotlight on Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and much more!

Sincerely,

M'Evie Mead                                                 
Director of Statewide Organizing
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri

P.S. It is your support that drives us to fight for reproductive rights and allows us to provide vital health services to those in our community.  Help be there for women, men, and teens in our community by making a tax-deductible donation. DONATE

 

Monthly MONITOR

 

Monday October 21, 2013                                                          Contact:  M’Evie Mead (c) 314-531-7526

 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ENDS

            After 16 days of a government shutdown, the U.S. House and Senate agreed to approve funding federal government operations and raise the nation’s debt limit early on October 17th. During the shutdown a small group of out-of-touch politicians held the federal government hostage. Their terms? Allow employers to deny women access to birth control and defund the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.
            Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas) ringleader of the wildly unpopular government shutdown and anti-women's health politician extraordinaire, was determined to push his medically inaccurate talking points about birth control in order to promote his political agenda. Sen. Cruz erroneously stated the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover abortion-inducing pills and referred to emergency contraception or Plan B as “abortifacients.”

Planned Parenthood Advocates would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight: emergency contraception (EC) is not abortion. EC is a safe and effective form of birth control that works by preventing pregnancy before it happens. Studies have shown it's safe for women of all ages to use; it doesn't lead to risky behavior or higher rates of unprotected sex, and it's been used by millions of women. But the best part, it's one of the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods covered by the Affordable Care Act - without a copay. 

            It's important to read between the lines when politicians attempt to defund or eliminate the Affordable Care Act. This is what they are really saying –  “take away coverage from people with pre-existing conditions, kick young adults off their parents’ policies and charge women extra for preventive care and birth control.” In addition, during the latest government shutdown battle, those same politicians tried to use women's health as a political game and it did not work!

 

OCTOBER IS NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH 

            Family planning providers like Planned Parenthood see firsthand the impact that intimate partner violence can have on one’s health. This is one reason why Planned Parenthood is playing a unique role in educating women and men about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Planned Parenthood is proud to provide intimate partner violence (IPV) screening at every one of their nearly 750 health centers. 

                Under Obamacare, health plans are required to cover screenings and counseling for exposure to domestic violence as a core preventive health benefit for women. Obamacare also prevents insurers from denying coverage by calling domestic violence a pre-existing condition.

Women experiencing IPV are often able to find help after being screened by a women’s health care provider.  In fact, more than half (53%) of women seen at family planning providers like Planned Parenthood reported physical or sexual IPV.

            Planned Parenthood’s website, plannedparenthood.org, offers information on healthy relationships and IPV prevention, and receives 4 million visits each month.

 

HAPPY NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY! CELEBRATE BEING WHO YOU ARE! 

            October 11th was National Coming Out Day, observed annually to celebrate LGBTQ identities and to raise awareness of the issues facing these communities. Planned Parenthood believes that all people deserve nonjudgmental, high-quality, affordable health care, no matter who they are, where they live or whom they love. 

INVEST IN MISSOURI'S FUTURE WITH MEDICAID EXPANSION

October 12th, 2013~Letter to the Editor~St. Louis Post Dispatch

            With drastically different information being presented on Obamacare and the government shutdown, it is not hard to see why Americans are confused about health care. The subheading "Uncertainty" in Jim Doyle’s article ("Health insurance marketplaces offer new opportunities," Sept. 29) sums up what many Missourians are feeling.

Until citizens have time to explore the marketplace and make personal choices regarding their health care, the political bullying is instilling fear, instead of educating the country. Given the inability to collaborate, the government shutdown has proven that a small group of individuals, adamant about getting their way regardless of whom they trample, will abuse privilege and halt this country’s functioning.

            If half the energy spent on fighting about Obamacare had been spent on advocating for Medicaid expansion last year, more than 260,000 eligible Missourians could be obtaining quality health care through Medicaid. A 2012 report by the National Women’s Law Center found that Medicaid supports 57,096 jobs in Missouri. A Missouri Budget Project report projects that Medicaid expansion would bring $1.56 billion into the state’s economy and the state would receive $15.7 billion in federal funding to expand Medicaid through 2021.

Medicaid expansion covers hard-working Missourians, provides jobs and positively impacts our economy. Our citizens are paying portions of their taxes into the federal pot, yet the Missouri Legislature refuses to tap into those funds out of fear. Misinformation and assumptions about undeserving groups of citizens have fueled a political agenda at the expense of the American people.

            With the expansion of Medicaid, the implementation of Obamacare and the investment into Missouri’s future together, the frustrations and confusion heard today will dissipate before we know it.

Jessica Lambrecht  •  Kirkwood

 

HEALTH CARE ACT MAKES PREVENTIVE SCREENINGS POSSIBLE

Saturday October 12th, 2013~Letter to the Editor~Columbia Missourian

            October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and thanks to the newly implemented Obamacare, young women like me have access to preventive care and health exams that can help identify abnormalities and potential cancer early, when they are most treatable.

These things can be expensive, and now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I don’t have to delay checkups and preventive care because of the cost.

Twenty-seven million currently insured women have already benefited from access to fully covered women’s preventive services, including breast exams and mammograms.

When the law goes into full effect, 47 million women will be insured. Additionally, Americans under the age of 26 can now stay on their parents’ health plan, thanks to "Obamacare."

The law also means that health insurance plans will no longer be able to deny anyone coverage based on pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer. This will help women who have overcome breast cancer continue medical care for greater health in the future, without fear of losing insurance coverage or bankrupting them.

Every woman deserves access to lifesaving cancer screenings from trusted health care providers, and thanks to Obamacare, they’ll do so without fear of looming debt. That’s why I’m standing with Planned Parenthood for National Breast Cancer Awareness month to say: Obamacare works. It works for young women like me, and we’re not going to let coverage be taken away.

Melissa Needles • Columbia

 

NEED HELP SIGNING UP FOR HEALTH INSURANCE THROUGH OBAMACARE? PLANNED PARENTHOOD CAN HELP YOU!

Planned Parenthood is hosting enrollment events at a Health Center near you!

  • Thursday November 7th from 6-8PM

Central West End Health Center 4251 Forest Park Avenue St. Louis, MO

  • Tuesday November 12th from 6-8PM

St. Peters Health Center 208 Mid Rivers Mall Center St. Peters, MO

  • Thursday November 14th from 6-8PM

West County Health Center #1 Stonegate Center Manchester, MO

Have Questions? Call 314-531-7526 ext 358