This is the final weekly edition of the Monitor for now. Beginning in June, we'll be sending you the Monitor on a monthly basis.
Legislative Session Adjourns
After a strange and chaotic few months, lawmakers ended the session on Friday as required by the state constitution. There’s a lot to unpack, but it’s clear that Gov. Parson and his allies in the Legislature failed to step up and support Missourians during this unprecedented crisis.
Let’s start with the good news: After returning from a COVID-induced hiatus in late April, the anti-reproductive freedom Republican majority planned to pass a host of terrible policies and hoped we would be too distracted to notice. Not so fast. Together with our allies, we mobilized folks across the state to speak out and let politicians know that even though we could not be in the Capitol building, Missourians were watching them and demanding better.
And we were effective, beating back the vast majority of these bad bills!We’re talking attacks on our voting rights, allowing guns in daycares and bars, endangering patients who need abortion later in pregnancy, stripping people’s health care coverage, making it harder for families to get Food Stamps. And not one of the 19 bills attacking LGBTQ Missourians passed this year.
Now, the bad news: They succeeded on two fronts.
Lawmakers once again tried to score political points for “defunding” Planned Parenthood, and once again they sacrificed Missouri patients to do it. The Republican majority used the budget process to block patients who rely on publicly funded programs (like Medicaid) from accessing vital preventive health care at Planned Parenthood. Even though Missouri’s health care safety net is already overburdened, and even though we are in a pandemic, legislators thought it was important to use their limited time to block patients with low income from getting their birth control. It’s politics at its worst, and we are fighting back. (More about that below.)
Desperate to hold onto their power, politicians passed SJR 38, a constitutional amendment that would overturn Clean Missouri and establish a radical gerrymandering scheme. This “Dirty Missouri” amendment is nothing more than a politician-protection plan, and it completely disregards the 62% of Missouri voters who passed Clean Missouri less than two years ago. As one Republican leader warned his colleagues, this Dirty Missouri amendment “will go down in flames.”
Now, we build on our momentum. We will hold these leaders accountable, defeat the “Dirty Missouri” amendment and pass Medicaid Expansion!
Be a part of moving our work forward — invite three friends to join the fight for reproductive freedom by sharing this page!
Want Even More MoLeg Info? We’ve Got You Covered.
Join Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri on Tuesday, May 26 for a legislative update with Sen. Jill Schupp, Missouri NAACP Treasurer Rod Chapel, and Advocates President and CEO Yamelsie Rodríguez.
Tell Gov. Parson: Veto Attacks on Planned Parenthood Patients
While they should have been focused on supporting Missourians through the worst public health crisis of our time, state lawmakers chose to attack Planned Parenthood patients by trying to block their access to health care — in the middle of a pandemic.
Let's be clear: this is not about abortion. Unjust laws currently exclude abortion from publicly funded health care programs that these patients rely on to get their care. So what kind of health care are lawmakers targeting? Birth control. Cancer screenings. STI testing and treatment.
Legislators chose to score political points for “defunding” Planned Parenthood — and they sacrificed Missouri patients to do it. Now these bills are on the governor’s desk. Tell Gov. Parson to veto these attacks and protect Planned Parenthood patients!
Recap: We Make Missouri
Last Thursday, supporters from Planned Parenthood Advocates joined with allies from progressive organizations across Missouri for a virtual rally. The rally provided a stark contrast to the state legislature, which has refused to step up to support Missouri families during the biggest public health crisis of our time. By lifting up organizers, activists, and everyday Missourians who are leading in their communities, we were able to show our elected officials — and each other — that #WeMakeMissouri and we WILL create the state we want.
The hour-long rally featured Maeve, a Planned Parenthood patient from Kansas City sharing her story and Eva, a lead Planned Parenthood volunteer in St. Louis. To date, nearly 1000 people have seen the rally and taken action!
If you couldn’t join us last week, it’s not too late to participate! You can watch the rally, follow our allied organizations online and engage in their calls to action.