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2019 Missouri Legislative Session Preview

Lawmakers return to Jefferson City on January 9th to begin the 100th General Assembly, but they have been pre-filing bills all month. 

So far, there are seven proposals to impose more restrictions on abortion – including outright bans. However, we are excited to report these restrictive bills are outnumbered for the second year in a row by bills that would improve Missourians' health and rights!

As always, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri will be working to shape legislation protecting and advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. Check out our regularly updated 2019 Bill Summary to stay on top of what's happening in Jefferson City!

Discrimination Against Planned Parenthood Patients

Earlier this year, Governor Parson signed two discriminatory budget bills targeting Planned Parenthood patients. The measures aim to block patients with low incomes from choosing Planned Parenthood health centers for vital preventive care, including birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment. 

Both Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri continue to see these patients, despite not being reimbursed for the care they are providing.

When lawmakers debate the budget for the upcoming year, they will revisit this issue and have the chance to stop discriminating against Planned Parenthood patients. This would enable the state to draw down millions in federal funding that was lost when they tried to "defund" Planned Parenthood. It would also expand access to care, improving Missouri's maternal and infant health outcomes – it's a win-win.

Planned Parenthood is a crucial component of Missouri's health care safety net. Research shows Missouri's current health care system is not equipped to provide family planning patients with the services they need. Cutting patient access to Planned Parenthood creates an enormous hole in Missouri's health care system. Besides Planned Parenthood, only 7% of more than 600 safety-net health centers offer a full range of birth control options and have evening or weekend hours. Learn more about the importance of Planned Parenthood to a healthy Missouri by reading our report. 

Mark Your Calendars: 2019 Lobby Days!

Planned Parenthood Advocates has scheduled two days for supporters to lobby their elected leaders in Jefferson City during this legislative session. Whether you're a lobbying veteran or you've never been to the Capitol before, you should join us! We provide a supportive environment to connect with lawmakers about the importance of Missourians' sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Save the dates: Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, May 8. 

Share Your Story

Your experience matters. Your perspective matters. Sharing your story is one of the most powerful ways to support Planned Parenthood. 

Whether it's affordable birth control or the right to safe and legal abortion, tell us why these services matter to you. Your story will help show everyone just what we're fighting for in the weeks and months to come. Share your story today!

 

Open Enrollment Success!

The Affordable Care Act Assister Team at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri wrapped up their sixth open enrollment period connecting patients and community members to health insurance. During this Open Enrollment period, the team enrolled 181 individuals in health insurance, a 5% increase in their enrollment numbers!

In addition to helping people enroll in private health insurance plans on the Marketplace, the Assister Team enrolled 39 people in additional safety-net programs like Gateway to Better Health and the Uninsured Women's Health Program. As we jump into 2019, the team will continue to help enroll consumers who qualify for Special Enrollment Periods, as well as pivoting towards more health literacy work. 

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