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MoLeg Update: Protecting Patients from Unnecessary Pelvic Exams

On Tuesday, March 3, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri President and CEO Yamelsie Rodríguez joined bill sponsors House Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield), Rep. LaKeySha Bosley (D-St. Louis),  Rep. Jon Carpenter (D-Kansas City), and the Missouri House Democratic Caucus for a press conference announcing three bills that will protect patients from medically unnecessary pelvic exams. Also attending the press conference and pictured above were Rep. Deb Lavender (D-St. Louis), House Minority Caucus Chair Ingrid Burnett (D-Kansas City) and Rep. Sarah Unsicker (D-St. Louis).

Last year, Gov. Parson’s health department changed its interpretation of a rule and began requiring physicians to give patients a medically unnecessary pelvic exam 72 hours before an abortion. Pelvic exams are invasive and uncomfortable, and medical experts agree that there is no reason for this rule. Forcing a patient to have a pelvic exam when it’s not necessary — especially if the patient is very young or has experienced sexual assault or abuse — can be traumatizing. This mandate is state-sanctioned sexual assault.

House Bills 2475, 2617, 2713 and Senate Bill 1041 would stop these invasive and medically unnecessary pelvic exams, and allow health care providers to follow evidence-based best practices — instead of politically motivated bureaucrats — when caring for patients.

Reminder: Vote in Missouri's Presidential Primary!

Missouri’s presidential preference primary is Tuesday, March 10! Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and as long as you are in line by 7:00 p.m., you have the right to vote.

Recap: Reproductive Freedom Lobby Day

More than 75 Missourians from across the state gathered in Jefferson City on Tuesday, March 3 to meet with their lawmakers. These citizen-lobbyists visited the offices of 65 legislators and connected the impact of policy to their personal experiences. They advocated for sex education, fair redistricting maps, and protecting Planned Parenthood patients from discrimination. Many citizen-lobbyists were also able to attend the press conference announcing legislation to protect patients from medically unnecessary pelvic exams. 

Many of the volunteer lobbyists had never lobbied or been to the Capitol before, but that didn’t stop them from making their voices heard! Thank you to the many lawmakers who took the time to meet with these advocates, especially Rep. Doug Beck (D-St. Louis), who spoke with us at length before we wrapped up the day.

Want to join us in the Capitol? Mark your calendars for May 13 — more information will be announced soon!

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