Monday Monitor: January 11, 2016

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Contact: M’Evie Mead, 314-531-7526 x348, mevie.mead@ppslr.org

2016 Planned Parenthood Lobby Days

Join fellow women’s health advocates in Jefferson City and make your voice heard! Your legislators need to hear from you about what’s important. We have five lobby days scheduled for the 2016 legislative session, so mark your calendars. Watch your inbox for more details coming soon.

  • Wednesday, January 27 – Sex Ed Lobby Day
  • Tuesday, February 23
  • Wednesday, March 30
  • Tuesday, April 12 – Women’s Equality Lobby Day
  • Thursday, May 5, 2015

Keeping Track of #MoLeg

The legislature has been in session for less than a week, but there are already many bills – both pro- and anti-women’s health – to follow. We want to keep you in the loop. To learn about the bills we are tracking, visit the legislative center on our website, www.ppmissouri.org. We update our bill summaries each week and post in-depth fact sheets on legislation that’s moving.

Sanctity of Life Committee Update

The Missouri Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, led by attorney general candidate Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), has filed its report recommending the committee continue to meet and that the Senate initiate contempt proceedings against Mary Kogut, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, and Dr. James Miller, owner of Pathology Services, Inc. This would require the full Senate to pass a resolution explaining the rationale of their report. If passed, both Ms. Kogut and Dr. Miller could face up to 10 days in jail, a fine of up to $300, or both.

The committee’s subpoena to Planned Parenthood and Pathology Services, Inc. sought an unreasonable amount of documents. Lawyers for both parties challenged the subpoena on multiple grounds, including that it would violate federal patient privacy laws. The attorneys further argued that the committee was improperly formed and did not have the authority to issue the subpoenas in the first place.

While Planned Parenthood disputed the committee’s authority to issue the subpoena, they were clear in their response that they are willing to discuss how they might provide documentation relevant to a legitimate legislative inquiry as they did with the Attorney General. That Senator Schaefer recommended contempt proceedings rather than accept Planned Parenthood’s offer to provide documents demonstrates his interest in political escalation rather than inquiry.

The committee, which was formed in response to widely discredited videos making false allegations against Planned Parenthood regarding fetal tissue donation, has seven Republican members, three of whom are running for statewide office. The two Democratic members of the committee rejected the report. Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) noted that the attorney general’s investigation has already found Planned Parenthood complies with all state laws regarding fetal tissue, and decried the entire committee as a “politically motivated witch hunt.”

President Obama Vetoes Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood, Repeal Obamacare

Last Friday, President Obama vetoed legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and prevented millions of patients from receiving the high-quality, compassionate care they need. Passed by Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, the bill also repealed the Affordable Care Act, which has extended health care coverage to more than 17.6 million Americans since its passage in 2010.

In his veto message, President Obama said:

“Planned Parenthood uses both Federal and non-federal funds to provide a range of important preventive care and health services, including health screenings, vaccinations, and check-ups to millions of men and women who visit their health centers annually. Longstanding Federal policy already prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the woman would be endangered. By eliminating Federal Medicaid funding for a major provider of health care, H.R. 3762 would limit access to health care for men, women, and families across the Nation, and would disproportionately impact low-income individuals.”

Congressional Republicans do not have enough votes to override the president’s veto.

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
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About ppmissouri

A project of: ADVOCATES of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri Planned Parenthood Great Plains
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