MoLeg Weekly Wrap-Up

HB 194 - Omnibus Abortion Restrictions

On Wednesday, the Missouri House debated and passed Rep. Franklin’s (R-Camdenton) House Bill 194, a bill full of medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. The bill prohibits families from donating fetal tissue for scientific research after an abortion, singles out health centers that provide abortion for medically unnecessary mandates, and increases redundant reporting requirements. Two anti-abortion bills were amended onto the bill: Rep. Miller’s (R-Lake Ozark) House Bill 326 and Rep. Swan’s (R-Cape Girardeau) House Bill 456. The provision from HB 326 requires teens to notify their second parent before they can get an abortion. Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, oppose requirements like this because they endanger teens who face violence and abuse at home — the government simply cannot mandate healthy family communication. The provision from HB 456 adds a mandatory annual inspection for health centers that provide abortion. As several representatives pointed out, if this had anything to do with patient safety, annual inspections would be required for health centers that do more invasive and complicated procedures than abortion — but they aren’t. This is yet another attempt to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.

Several reproductive health champions stood up to argue against HB 194, demanding that politicians stop interfering with Missourians’ personal, private medical decisions. Thank you to Reps. Randy Dunn (D-Kansas City), Bruce Franks Jr. (D-St. Louis), Tracy McCreery (D-St. Louis County), Sue Meredith (D-St. Louis County), Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City), Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis County), Sarah Unsicker (D-Shrewsbury), and Cora Faith Walker (D-Ferguson) for standing up for Missourians’ reproductive health!

The bill awaits another vote in the House before it can be sent to the Senate.

Cutting Access to Family Planning and Women's Health Care

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a budget bill that could effectively end Missouri’s family planning program, leaving thousands of low-income patients seeking birth control and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment with nowhere to go.

This measure could disqualify hundreds of providers in Missouri’s family planning program. In a deceptive attempt to link this program to abortion, an amendment seeks to bar any agencies that provide “abortion services” from receiving state funds — but it includes referral in the definition of abortion services. Legally and ethically, providers are obligated to inform patients of all options, including abortion. 

The full Senate will debate the budget this week — make your voice heard and urge your senator to protect access to family planning and women’s health care!

Court Victory = Increased Access to Safe, Legal Abortion!

A federal court has blocked two Missouri abortion restrictions, declaring them unconstitutional. These medically unnecessary restrictions impose an undue burden on patients’ constitutional right to access abortion.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood Great Plains President and CEO Laura McQuade and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region President and CEO Mary M. Kogut said: “Together, we are excited to end Missouri’s shameful one-provider status, and soon be offering four more locations where women can access safe, legal abortion without facing geographical obstacles. We are proud to say this is a step forward in ensuring abortion is more than a right in name only.”

Stand with Planned Parenthood - Events Near You!

Recap: Sit-In at Rep. Hartzler's Office 

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes collaborated with CoMo for Progress to hold a sit-in last Thursday and Friday at Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s (R-MO 4) office. More than two dozen supporters joined the two-day sit-in to demand that Rep. Hartzler hold an in-person town hall and listen to her constituents’ concerns about health care, including defending the progress made through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protecting Missourians’ access to sexual and reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Recap: #AbsentAnn Town Hall

After months of unanswered calls, office visits, rallies, and thousands of constituent petitions, Planned Parenthood advocates hosted their own town hall for Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO 2). Though more than 100 constituents personally invited Rep. Wagner to attend, she did not respond and failed to face her 150 constituents who gathered to discuss access to health care. Constituents at the town hall—led by three Planned Parenthood constituent leaders—still got to work building power and committing to ongoing accountability actions, including a letter-delivery and rally the very next day!

Watch part of Macy’s remarks to catch a glimpse of the event; Macy is a teen constituent who has taken her leadership and story of care at Planned Parenthood to DC and back again!

Find Events Near You

Check Planned Parenthood’s national calendar to find events planned in your community!

RSVP to Join Planned Parenthood in Jefferson City!

The Moral Missouri Day of Action is this Wednesday! Join a coalition of organizations, including Planned Parenthood, to demand a more moral Missouri and reclaim “morality” from the right, which has coopted the term while pushing immoral policies that hurt Missourians.

A rally in the Capitol rotunda will kick off the day at 10:00 AM. Transportation is available from St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. RSVP below!

If you can’t make it this week, your last chance will be the Freedom of Choice Council Lobby Day on May 4. Whether you’ve never been to Jeff City or you’re a lobbying pro, we invited you to join us! Planned Parenthood organizers will prep you with materials and information so you can talk to your legislators with confidence.

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