We’re glad to report that last week, lawmakers advanced two bills supported by Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri.
House Bill 2234, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), would make a small but important improvement to Missouri’s sex education standards by including education on consent, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Students from the University of Missouri and a student from Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri’s Teen Advocates for Sexual Health (TASH) program testified in support of HB 2234 and explained how important it is for students to learn about these issues so they can have healthy relationships. Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri testified in support of the bill while underscoring that Missouri’s current sex education undermines the promise of these bills because it allows for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and prohibits school districts from bringing in expert sex educators to teach students.
Finally, after weeks of hard work and education by Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri and allied groups, the House Committee on Health & Mental Health Policy voted to pass HB 1499. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) will increase access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) while also saving taxpayer dollars.
- KBIA: Consent May Soon Be Required as Part of Statewide Sexual Education Curriculum
- Follow us on Twitter as we live-tweet hearings: @PPMO_Advocates
Local Progress: Health Center Safety Bill Advances in St. Louis
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee voted 5-2 to pass Board Bill 34, the “Health Center Safety” bill.
The bill would create an eight-foot buffer zone around the driveway, protecting the rights of patients, providers, and staff to access St. Louis health centers safely while also protecting the rights of protesters to demonstrate. The bill awaits debate and a vote from the full Board of Aldermen.. The bill awaits debate and a vote from the full Board of Aldermen — contact your alderperson in support of BB 34 today!
- Learn more: Health Center Safety Bill Fact Sheet
- Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri: Tell Your Alderperson to Support the Health Center Safety Bill!
- St. Louis Public Radio: Committee approves buffer zone around St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility
Join Us on Tuesday, Feb. 27 for Lobby Day!
Mark your calendars and join fellow advocates talking with lawmakers in Jefferson City about Missourians’ sexual and reproductive health and rights! We have carpools leaving from Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis. Whether you’ve never been to the Capitol or you’ve walked the halls a hundred times, join us and make a difference!
|RSVP for Columbia|
|RSVP for Kansas City|
|RSVP for Springfield|
|RSVP for St. Louis|
Stand With Planned Parenthood in Your Community
Volunteer Spotlight: Alanis Ballester
This week, we're shining the volunteer spotlight on Alanis Ballester. Alanis is a committed volunteer who comes to the office every week. She keeps us completely caught up on data entry and conceptualizes and creates some absolutely fantastic signs! The Monday Monitor asked Alanis about volunteering:
Q: Why is it important that you give your time to Planned Parenthood Advocates?
A: “I’m a college student, so I don’t have money to give and the next best thing is to give my time. It’s important to get involved and protect health care for women; the attacks on it are really based on misogyny. I think more volunteers show up for non-controversial issues like hunger and poverty and those volunteers might be easier to find – I think women and queer people’s health care and issues need more attention.”
Q: You say reproductive rights is controversial; is there more you want to say about that?
A: “It’s absurd that people’s reality, their everyday life and health is made political – supporting women and queer people shouldn’t be controversial but because it’s politicized it puts people at risk.”
Q: Is there a particular reason you chose to do data entry and office work?
A: “Yes. I am not great with people. I am more comfortable doing behind the scenes work.”
Q: What are some plans you have for the future to continue protecting reproductive rights and move toward a more just society where people control their own reproduction?
A: “I plan to continue volunteering with Planned Parenthood Advocates and I will always vote and volunteer with candidates who will protect reproductive rights. Talking to people about reproductive health and breaking taboos about it is important.”
Q: Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
A: “I’m a music therapy student with no background in health care or politics. I’m a concerned citizen and am doing my part in the way that works best for me.”
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: “My mom’s Caribbean cooking.”
Recap: Springfield Healthy Neighborhood Canvass
Thanks to some great volunteers, our Springfield Health Center had an amazing Healthy Neighborhood Canvass on Saturday!
Despite the chill and drizzle, five amazing brand new volunteers showed up and canvassed neighborhoods in Springfield to tell folks about the health care resources available at Planned Parenthood, such as annual exams, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings and birth control as well as assistance with getting insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The volunteers were all first-time canvassers. One volunteer said, “I was really surprised how nice people were! It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be.” Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri rely on volunteers to have a presence in the community and help us make high-quality, affordable, sexual and reproductive health care available to all. “Bravo” to these fantastic volunteers!
There are so many ways you can be involved — check out our events calendar!
Join the fight for access to health care on the state and federal levels! Join Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri organizers and volunteers to crowd-canvass, make calls, and enter data. You can participate in the phone banks in person or remotely!
- Columbia Data Entry & Phone Banking: Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
- Springfield Phone Banking: Friday, Feb. 23 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
- St. Louis Phone Banking: Friday, Feb. 23 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
- Holding Sen. Koenig Accountable - Yard Sign Canvass: Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Clean Missouri Democracy Reform Campaign
Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri is supporting Clean Missouri, a non-partisan effort to reform our democracy by banning big lobbyist gifts, capping campaign contributions, and improving the way we draw district lines
Join us and help put power back in voters' hands!
- Springfield: Email Southwest Missouri Grassroots Organizer Stacy Sherrod
- St. Louis: Email Lead Grassroots Organizer Alaina Smith
Find Events Near You
Check Planned Parenthood’s national calendar to find events planned in your community!
Planned Parenthood Event Calendar: Find an event near you