House Bill 194 singles out abortion providers for new, medically unnecessary mandates and creates new criminal penalties. The bill also prohibits families from donating fetal tissue for scientific research after an abortion and creates redundant reporting requirements. This measure takes a statute meant to provide information about miscarriage, inserts nonmedical language, and applies it to a person who has an abortion.
Patient health and safety are Planned Parenthood’s top priority and are central to its mission. Every day, Planned Parenthood works to make sure patients receive the high-quality health care they need in a safe, respectful environment. That includes providing abortion.
Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States. Data, including from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), show that abortion has a greater than 99 percent safety record.
Planned Parenthood adheres to medical standards and guidelines that are informed by the most trusted medical knowledge, as well as professional and scientific organizations, including the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, the US Preventive Services Task Force, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws restrict access to safe and legal abortion under the guise of legitimate regulation. TRAP laws are designed to sound like reasonable efforts to protect patients, but they actually have no basis in evidence and only serve to make it more difficult for abortion providers to exist.
These burdensome and medically unnecessary regulations that single out abortion providers need to be recognized as part of an effort to drastically reduce access to safe and legal abortion.
Leading medical authorities, including ACOG, oppose TRAP laws because they create barriers to abortion access and put patients’ health at risk.
Fetal tissue donation saves lives and advances medicine.
Planned Parenthood never has, never would, and never will sell fetal tissue for profit.
Fetal tissue donation is a legal and ethical practice that has led to medical advances for decades, including lifesaving vaccines for polio and rubella. Today, fetal tissue research is contributing to groundbreaking research on treatments for diseases and conditions like diabetes, autism, and ALS. Fetal tissue research is also advancing understanding and prevention of maternal and fetal health conditions such as preeclampsia and fetal chromosomal disorders.
If a patient chooses to donate tissue after an abortion, the choice is always and only theirs.
Though Planned Parenthood does not facilitate fetal tissue donation in Missouri, unnecessary restrictions on scientific research send the wrong message to scientific researchers and institutions that Missouri is trying to attract for academic and economic purposes.
This bill manipulates a statute that is intended to inform a person who has a miscarriage about their options.
House Bill 194 takes a statute meant to provide information about miscarriage, inserts nonmedical language, and applies it to a person who has an abortion.
The language in this measure may impose new restrictions on abortion that could make compliance impossible.
These restrictions do not meet the U.S. Supreme Court’s new standard. It is important for legislators and the public to know that last summer’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt established a much clearer legal standard that abortion restrictions must meet: the benefit of a given abortion restriction must outweigh the burden it imposes.
For example, if politicians propose a medically unnecessary barrier to safe, legal abortion in the name of “patient health and safety,” they will have to show that it actually benefits patient health and safety. Courts will no longer take politicians’ word for it.
The decision immediately struck down medically unnecessary restrictions in Texas. Less than 24 hours after the ruling, efforts to enforce similar abortion restrictions in Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin fell. The Missouri restrictions similar to those struck down in Texas have been challenged and the case is proceeding.
This new standard applies to any and all abortion restrictions, whether it's a TRAP law, a restriction on a certain medical procedure, or a restriction on the doctors who provide reproductive health care. The state cannot place any burden on access to abortion without a legitimate reason, and even if there is such a reason, the courts are now responsible for balancing that justification with the restriction of access.
Given the clear standard set in Whole Woman’s Health, considering medically unnecessary and unconstitutional restrictions is a poor use of legislative time and state resources. Such measures do not protect patients’ health and safety and they will lead to costly taxpayer-funded legal battles.