WEEK ONE OF THE 2014 MISSOURI SESSION
Last week marked the beginning of the 2014 Missouri legislative session. Bills impacting women’s health have already been filed and assigned to committee – with two bills scheduled for a hearing.
On Wednesday, January 15 the House Health Care Policy Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing at noon on two bills that endanger women’s health: The Teen Endangerment bill, HB1192, sponsored by Rep. Miller (R-124) requires BOTH custodial parents or the guardians of a minor to be notified in writing 7 days prior to the performance of an abortion on their minor child. State law already requires a female under the age of 18 to obtain written informed consent of one parent or guardian prior to an abortion. Parents rightfully want to be involved in their teenagers’ lives, and the good news is that most teens do go to their parents when faced with an unintended pregnancy. But in the real world, no law can mandate family communication. Adding administrative obstacles that are nearly insurmountable to the teen can force them to take matters into their own hands.
The Prohibition on Safety Regulation for Pregnancy Resource Centers bill, HB1103, sponsored by Rep. Gatschenberger (R-108) specifies that the constitutions and laws of the United States and Missouri must protect the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers to freely engage in activities without interference, which includes Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC). HB 1103 would place PRCs above any safety or privacy regulation. PRCs are on record providing false and misleading information to vulnerable women and are currently not required to provide medically factual or accurate information to them. In contrast, abortion providers adhere to more than 30 laws and regulations—including many unnecessary restrictions.
MOVING BILLS IN HOUSE AND SENATE
SB519 filed by Sen. Sater (R-29) has been referred to Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. SB519 extends the waiting period for women obtaining an abortion to a 72 hour waiting period. Currently there is a 24 hour waiting period in place.
HB1132 filed by Rep. Engler (R-116) has been referred to the House Ways and Means committee. This bill increases the amount of tax credits for contributions to pregnancy resource centers available in each fiscal year to $2.5 million.
HB1148 filed by Rep. Hicks (R-107) has been referred to the House Health Care Policy Committee. HB1148 states that, “an abortion cannot be performed or induced until the woman obtaining the abortion certifies in writing that an active ultrasound has been conducted and reviewed with her, allowing her to view and receive a copy of an image of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat if the heartbeat is audible.”
For a summary of all of the bills that we’re watching this session, visit our 2014 Bill Summary page
JANUARY IS CERVICAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and the New Year is a perfect time for women to take charge of their health with important preventive screenings such as Pap tests, which detect irregularities that can lead to cervical cancer. Women can develop cervical cancer at any stage of life, so Planned Parenthood encourages anyone over age 21 to talk to a health care provider about cervical cancer screening.
Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of the human papilloma virus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection. In most cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally — but high-risk HPV may lead to cervical cancer in some women.
While there is no cure for HPV, some Planned Parenthood health centers provide treatment for the abnormal cell changes in the cervix that are caused by HPV.
Treatment is also available for cervical cancer, which, when caught early, has a nearly 100% five-year survival rate. Planned Parenthood helps provide access to trusted, quality resources to those who do need additional care. And remember, thanks to Obamacare, Pap tests and the HPV vaccine are covered without a copay.
Planned Parenthood health centers provided nearly 4.5 million STI tests and treatments and nearly 500,000 Pap tests last year, identifying nearly 75,000 women at risk of developing cervical cancer.
To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you follow the LINK.
ABORTION: MAKING IT MORE DANGEROUS
Editorial~January 3rd~Columbia Tribune
In the coming legislative session, Republican Sen. David Sater of Cassville will propose a new hurdle for women seeking abortions. He wants a new law requiring a 72-hour waiting time, which would make Missouri’s wait time among the longest in the nation, equaled only by South Dakota and Utah.
With similar restrictions, abortion opponents already have limited elective abortion choice in Missouri to a single clinic in St. Louis. If they could, they would eliminate individual choice altogether. They keep trying.
Conservative politicians, usually outspoken enemies of big government, want big government to tell women they can’t choose safe abortions, pushing them toward dangerous alternatives. Extending wait time in Missouri from the current 24 hours would cause abortions to be performed later in term, increasing the danger and interfering with the right to choose.
Prohibitionists say more time is needed for women to make informed choices. They need more time for “reflection,” as Sater puts it. This is the height of arrogance codified in state law.
The propriety of abortion is worth a careful decision, but it should be a personal matter. If advocates want to give advice, it should come from private venues, not the halls of government. Any woman deserves respect for any abortion decision she makes, pro or con. No woman or provider should be told under threat of law what to do.
That our legislature will produce so many votes for Sater’s bill is reprehensible. Chances are it will pass. Pray I am wrong.
Henry James Water III
ROE EVENTS IN MISSOURI
For 41 years, access to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land. Check out the upcoming events to celebrate the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
As part of the Missouri Freedom of Choice Council, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region invites you to a Cocktail Reception in Celebration of the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Thursday, January 23rd from 6-8 p.m. at ACLU-MO’s St. Louis Office located at 454 Whittier Street. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10, $35, $50, or $75. Contributions will pay for buses to take advocates to Jefferson City for a pro-women’s health lobby day. For more information or to RSVP, contact Jillian at email@example.com or 314-531-7526 ext. 334.
Join Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri for a film screening and panel discussion, featuring:
Kansas Representative Barbara Bollier, MD, (R-25)
Crystal Williams, Jackson County Legislator (2nd District At-Large) & President of the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus
Elise Higgins, Kansas Manager of Government Affairs
Ryann Summerford, Missouri Statewide Manager of Government Affairs
“Roe at Risk” takes a look at the full scope of attacks on women’s constitutional rights nationwide, while telling the stories of women’s day-to-day struggles in Mississippi and Texas.
“The Abortion Diaries” is a documentary featuring 12 women who share their experiences with abortion.
PPKM will provide movie theater concession snacks!
To RSVP contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Wednesday January 22nd from 6:30-8:30PM
Q Enoteca Wine Bar on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30-7 PM. Address: 308 W. Commercial Street Springfield, MO
Contact: Lauren.email@example.com for details.
Columbia: Date TBD
OUR FIRST LOBBY DAY UNDER THE DOME is January 28th, 2014
For more information on upcoming lobby days, contact:
Lauren.Dow@ppslr.org – Springfield/SWMO – (417) 883-3800 ext 808
Jillian.Adams@ppslr.org – St. Louis area – (314) 531-7526 ext 334
Martha.Stevens@ppkm.org – Columbia/Mid-MO (573) 443-0427 ext 228
Erin.Heger@ppkm.org– KC area – (913) 312-5100 ext 257