Monday Monitor: February 8, 2016

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

Senate Bill 644 Continues on a Dangerous Path

Senate Bill 644, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis), would restrict access to safe and legal abortion in multiple ways. Heard in the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families, and Children on January 12, this dangerous omnibus bill could be debated in the Senate as soon as this week.  

Senate Bill 644 is a prime example of a targeted restriction of abortion providers (TRAP) law: It singles out abortion providers for medically unnecessary regulations designed to make it more difficult to operate. TRAP laws restrict abortion access under the guise of protecting patient safety. Senate Bill 644 would increase a medically unnecessary mandate requiring physicians to have privileges at a nearby hospital, impose stricter inspection mandates that only apply to abortion providers, and needlessly complicate the licensure process. The measure would also prohibit patients who’ve had an abortion from donating fetal tissue for medical research. The Missouri Legislature is once again attempting to chip away at access to safe and legal abortion under the pretense of legitimate regulation. They must be stopped—tell your senators to stand up against this legislation.

Expanding Access to Birth Control

Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri found common ground with Republican lawmakers last week with a bill to expand access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptive pills. House Bill 1679 would expand access in two ways. First, it removes the requirement that a woman must see a doctor to receive a prescription; doctors visits have posed a significant barrier to access for many women. Second, it allows pharmacists to write prescriptions in three- and 12-month increments, reducing the number of trips to the pharmacy and the number of missed pills.

Representative Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs), who is sponsoring the bill, wants to expand contraceptive access to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus the number of abortions. Under the measure, minors would have to show a previous prescription from a doctor and adults would be required to visit a physician within three years of the pharmacists’ initial prescription to continue receiving the contraceptives. This legislation is comparable to laws recently passed in Oregon and California.

Congress Can’t Override President Obama’s Veto, Fails to Defund Planned Parenthood and Repeal the ACA for the Umpteenth Time

On Tuesday, February 2, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and repealed much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by a vote of 241-186. This vote marked the 63rd time Republicans have attempted to dismantle Obamacare. Since Republicans took control of the House in 2011, GOP leadership has not introduced any concrete plans to replace the ACA. Speaker Paul Ryan states that the GOP will present their replacement plan this year, but has yet to provide any legislative language. More than 18 million Americans have gained insurance coverage under the ACA, and about 11.3 million have signed up this year alone.

Join Us For Lobby Days

We have four more lobby days scheduled for this session:

  • Tuesday, February 23
  • Wednesday, March 30
  • Tuesday, April 12
  • Thursday, May 5

Mark your calendars and plan to join us! Our lobby days in Jefferson City are crucial to let our legislators know that we have a strong voice in their communities. At lobby day, you will have an opportunity to speak directly to lawmakers in a supportive team environment. In the last two legislative sessions alone, Missouri politicians proposed 57 bills intended to cut people off from the reproductive health care they need and deserve. The number of dangerous, insulting bills filed in 2016 is steadily climbing. It’s unacceptable, and we can’t fight back alone— we needyou to take action with us!

Carpools are available from the Kansas City area, the St. Louis area, Springfield, and Columbia. RSVP at the link below!

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

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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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