Monday Monitor: April 25, 2016

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

Victory for Patient Privacy

Last week Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri successfully reached an agreement with Senate leadership to narrow their broad and vague subpoena request to an agreement that allows a few senators to review policy-related documents and blank forms, but no private patient information. When Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) came looking for private patient-related information and threatened to jail president and CEO Mary Kogut, she stood firm. Thanks to the thousands of Missourians who spoke out and took action, the privacy rights of Planned Parenthood’s patients are protected.

Budget Attacks on Preventive Health Care, Planned Parenthood and Medicaid Patients

On Thursday, April 21, the Missouri legislature passed a budget that attempts to take away preventive services like annual exams, birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment from patients insured through Medicaid. The budget also includes a reckless scheme, authored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, to reject $8 million in federal family planning funds and create an entirely new taxpayer-funded state program in order to skirt federal Medicaid laws and discriminate against Medicaid patients. These political attacks against Planned Parenthood patients will not deter Planned Parenthood’s commitment to serving all those in need, including patients using Medicaid. The budget now goes to Governor Nixon.

Bill Expanding Access to Birth Control Advances

The House of Representatives gave first-round approval last week to HB 1679, which would expand access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptive pills. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs) and has bipartisan support. The measure is similar to new laws in Oregon and California.

Rep. Solon said that she wants to expand access to contraception to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in Missouri. The House will need to give it a final vote before it can advance to the Senate.

Anti-Shackling Bills Make Progress

The legislature has advanced two bills that would protect pregnant and postpartum prisoners from being shackled during the second and third trimesters, during labor and delivery, and for 48 hours postpartum. Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) successfully amended her anti-shackling bill (SB 977) onto Sen. Wayne Wallingford’s (R-Cape Girardeau) SB 618, a bill addressing juveniles in the criminal justice system. The bill has passed the Senate and awaits a vote in the House Committee on Civil and Criminal Proceedings. Rep. Jeanne Kirkton’s HB 2552 received a hearing in the House Corrections Committee last week and awaits a vote there.

Shackles are degrading, unnecessary, and medically dangerous. Leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have denounced shackling as an inhumane and dangerous practice that can harm the pregnant person and put the pregnancy at risk. The federal government and several states have banned the practice.

Recap: Supporters #StandWithPP to Say #ShameOnSchaefer

More than 100 Planned Parenthood supporters came out on Saturday morning to visibility events at Planned Parenthood’s health centers in Columbia, MO and Overland Park, KS. Advocates called out Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) for his multi-pronged attack on Missourians’ reproductive health care: cutting off access to safe, legal abortion in mid-Missouri, threatening to throw St. Louis Planned Parenthood CEO Mary Kogut in jail for protecting private patient medical information, and discriminating against Medicaid patients who choose Planned Parenthood for their health care.  Shame on Schaefer t-shirts, signs, petitions and chants painted a picture of support for patient privacy and patients’ rights to access the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual health care including safe and legal abortion.

Lead Nurse Practitioner Kristin Metcalf-Wilson said, “He’s using women’s reproductive rights as a political football to improve his political status.”

RSVP for May 5th Lobby Day

Mark your calendars and plan to join us in Jefferson City for our final lobby day of the legislative session on Thursday, May 5 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. More than two dozen anti-reproductive health care bills are still on the table. Gather with fellow advocates to let lawmakers know that attacks on Missourians’ reproductive health care have to stop!

Carpools will be available in St. Louis, Kansas City, 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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