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Revoking Local Control: Blocking Health Center Safety Laws

HB 2589 - Rep. Rehder (R-148, Sikeston)
Attempts to block a local St. Louis measure that establishes an eight-foot safety zone around health center entrances to protect patients, providers, and protesters.

The health and safety of patients are Planned Parenthood’s top priority and are central to its mission.

  • Every day, Planned Parenthood works to make sure patients receive the high-quality health care they need in a supportive environment. That includes ensuring patients can get in and out of Planned Parenthood health centers safely.

The Missouri Legislature should not block local governments from protecting their communities.

  • HB 2589 aims to preempt St. Louis’ Board Bill 34, a proposed health center safety law. It is a reasonable, narrowly tailored measure filed in response to a local safety concern and protect patients, providers, staff, and protesters.
  • State lawmakers should not block local communities from enacting reasonable measures to protect health and safety. There is no reason a community should be prohibited from enacting this type of locally driven protection.

Nearly every day, protesters obstruct vehicular and pedestrian traffic of patients, providers, and staff who are entering Planned Parenthood’s Forest Park health center.

  • People seeking health care must be able to enter and exit medical facilities unimpeded.

  • Reasonable rules will allow patients to access the health care they need without being at risk of

    colliding with protestors who attempt to stop vehicles in the street or in the driveway.

  • Board Bill 34’s clear boundaries will protect protesters who would otherwise get too close to

    vehicles entering and exiting the health center driveway.

Board Bill 34 is a reasonable, narrowly tailored way to protect patients, providers, and staff.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court found the government does have a legitimate interest in “ensuring public safety and order, promoting the free flow of traffic on streets and sidewalks, protecting property rights, and protecting a woman’s freedom to seek pregnancy-related services,” and that the buffer zones at issue “clearly serve these interests.”

  • This policy balances the rights of patients, providers, and staff to enter and exit the health center safely with the rights of protesters to demonstrate.

Download this fact sheet as a PDF.

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