JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missourians seeking health services and outraged by the latest state budget sought care today in an unlikely place - Governor Parson’s Jefferson City office. Protestors of the so-called “defund” of Planned Parenthood donned hospital gowns this afternoon in the state Capitol, parodying a waiting room to highlight the state’s misguided attempts to block patients from being able to choose their health care provider.
The Missouri Legislature passed, and Gov. Parson signed, measures aimed at “defunding” Planned Parenthood. These politicians are attempting to block thousands of Missouri patients with low incomes from receiving vital preventive care like birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment at Planned Parenthood. As a result, many patients may be left with nowhere to turn for preventive care, because Missouri’s already-overburdened health care safety net does not have the capacity to absorb them.
“Thousands of Missourians rely on Planned Parenthood for their birth control. Gov. Parson wants to block many of these patients by ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood — where are these patients supposed to go?“ said Stacie Schroeder, a Planned Parenthood advocate from Columbia.
A recent report found that only 7% of Missouri safety-net providers other than Planned Parenthood offer accessible and comprehensive care.
Sydney Stephens, a Planned Parenthood patient who attended today’s action, said, “I am tired of politicians interfering with my access to health care. Gov. Parson needs to stop this defund.”
Missourians upset with the "defund" of Planned Parenthood donned paper gowns and staged a patient waiting room in Gov. Parson's office.