JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Legislature ends its 2018 session today after passing measures designed to block thousands of patients’ access to preventive health care and making small but positive policy advances. Funding measures for the Departments of Health and Senior Services and Social Services contained new provisions aimed at blocking patients from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers, HB 2010 and HB 2011.
M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, issued the following statement:
“The legislature spent way too much time on an illegal attack on Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide high-quality care to the people who need it the most. More time and effort should have been spent on increasing access to health care and sex education, but we praise the small advances made this session.
“By blocking thousands of patients from choosing their provider, the Missouri Legislature could leave them with nowhere to go for birth control and STI testing and treatment. That’s unacceptable.
“Thousands of Missourians are now depending on Gov. Greitens to protect access to basic health care by vetoing the discriminatory budget bills and signing the bills with small reproductive health and education advances.”
The Legislature sent the following positive policy measures to the governor:
- Expanding access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), like IUDs and implants, by allowing health care providers to transfer a new, unused LARC to a different MO HealthNet patient, allowing for same-day insertion. This saves time and expense for the patient and provider, and more than $220,000 annually in taxpayer dollars. (Amended to SB 826)
- Protections for the health and safety of incarcerated people at Department of Correction facilities. The measure restricts shackling during the third trimester and the 48 hours after birth. (Amended to SB 870)
- Requirement for school districts that choose to provide sex education to include information on consent, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. (Amended to HB 1606)
- Authorization for MO HealthNet to seek a waiver to extend substance abuse treatment coverage for new moms up to a year after giving birth. Current coverage ends 60 days postpartum. (HB 2280)