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Readout of abortion roundtable with VP Kamala Harris

To: Interested Parties
Date: May 19, 2022

Today, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Colleen McNicholas joined abortion providers at a roundtable hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris. Providers represented a variety of states, some of which have already all but banned abortion while others have proactively protected the right beyond Roe v. Wade. Below are snippets of the roundtable discussion with the Vice President. 

  • Dr. McNicholas shared the already dire state of abortion access in Missouri — the slew of medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that have all but banned abortion in the state.
  • The Vice President heard a detailed account of Missourians who flee the state every day for basic health care and the logistics needed in order to support patients in navigating their way to the health center in Fairview Heights, Illinois.
  • Dr. McNicholas also urged the Biden administration to recognize that if and when Roe is gutted or overturned, it will create a public health emergency. Much like during the early days of the pandemic, declaring a public health emergency could make federal resources more available to providers, especially in critical access states like Illinois. 
  • She also warned the Vice President that politicians won’t stop at overturning Roe and that Missouri has always been a testing ground for new and extreme policies that infringe on our rights and freedoms, including the cross state abortion ban, which would put a bounty on any American in any state who helps a Missourian access an abortion, even when that abortion care is provided in a state where it is legal.

To see the VP’s full opening remarks, click here.