Missouri Monitor: April 12, 2021
By Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri | April 12, 2021, 8 p.m.
Save Your Seat for the April 22 People’s Hearing
It's no secret that the Missouri State Legislature has the wrong priorities this session. Instead of expanding access to health care and listening to their constituents, legislators have been focusing on anti-abortion, anti-trans and anti-Medicaid Expansion legislation. COVID-19 has made it even harder for the majority in this state to make their voices heard.
Join us and our allies at Missouri Family Health Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, National Council of Jewish Women - STL and PROMO for a virtual People's Hearing where we can make our voices heard!Save Your Seat
MoLeg Recap: More Anti-Abortion Bills and Opportunities to Testify
Last Wednesday, the House Children and Families Committee held a hearing on HB 852, an anti-science bill driven by anti-abortion animus. House Bill 852, pushed by the same lawmakers who want to ban abortion in Missouri, is another example of politicians trying to dictate the work of physicians, academics and public health experts.
The broadly worded bill could impact medical students, public health graduate students and even potentially undergraduates at public institutions or private institutions that receive public funds doing any type of research involving abortion. See our HB 852 fact sheet for details.
Thank you to Jen Bernstein, who traveled to Jefferson City to testify against this bill on behalf of the National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis. As more people get vaccinated, more people can safely return to the Capitol. The Republican supermajority has refused to allow regular virtual testimony, so the safest option for many is to submit testimony in writing.
The same committee is set to meet at 8 a.m. this Wednesday to hold a hearing on HB 431, a targeted restriction of abortion providers (TRAP) law. Like HB 852, HB 431 is another attempt by anti-abortion politicians to deceive and shame patients and end abortion in Missouri. And like HB 852, HB 431 does nothing to help or protect patients.
House Bill 431 would force all patients to determine how fetal tissue is disposed of before they are allowed to have an abortion. It is designed to shame abortion patients by imposing a funeral ritual on them after a safe, legal medical procedure, and after the tissue has been sent to pathology. Politicians have no business imposing their beliefs on patients and interfering with their health care.
You can take action to stop this bill by testifying against it, either in person or by submitting written testimony. Whether you’ve testified before or this is your first time, we are here to support you! Are you willing to testify? Email us and we’ll help!Email Us to Testify
🏳️⚧️ Protect Trans Kids: Stop the Trans Youth Athlete Ban
House Joint Resolution 53 — a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban transgender students from playing sports with their peers — passed out of committee and will soon be up for debate on the House Floor.
We all know that transgender youth deserve the opportunity to play the sports they love and experience the valuable lessons of being on a team with their peers: teamwork, discipline, success, and failure. Transgender youth in Missouri should be able to be part of a team and play the sport they love as their authentic selves, just like any other young student.
Take action with PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBTQ+ advocates, to #ProtectTransKids and tell Missouri legislators what value sports have brought to your life or the lives of people you love. Remind them why sports are for everyone and we play together for the love of the game and love of the team.
Tell Your State Senator: Protect Missourians’ Reproductive Freedom
With five weeks left in this year’s session, the Missouri Senate has advanced five different bills attacking our reproductive freedom. The priorities are upside down; instead of COVID plans, these politicians are trying to pass abortion bans. They want to impose insulting new requirements specifically designed to make it harder for a person to access abortion. These bills spread misinformation, shame patients who have abortions and punish doctors who provide them. They've advanced a bill that would treat abortion as murder, criminalizing doctors and patients; it could even ban in vitro fertilization (IVF) and common forms of birth control, like the pill and the IUD.
Of the five bills moving right now, the latest attempt to “defund” Planned Parenthood could harm the most people. Not only could this discriminate against thousands of patients by blocking them from getting birth control, cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment — it could also jeopardize the state's entire Medicaid program, impacting hundreds of thousands in communities across Missouri.
It's a lot, but we have power when we act together. Tell your state senator: Stop the attacks on our reproductive health, rights, and freedom. Missourians deserve a government that works so all of our families can thrive!Act Now
☎️ Volunteer Opportunity: Virtual Phone Banks!
Want to take action to support reproductive freedom without leaving your house? We have just the thing! Join weekly virtual phone banks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the rest of the legislative session. You bring the computer, phone and internet access, we’ll supply the information and support you need to have impactful conversations with fellow Missourians across the state.
- Tuesday MO Jobs with Justice Medicaid Expansion Phone Bank
- Thursday PPMO Advocates Repro Freedom Phone Bank
- Friday PPMO Advocates Repro Freedom Phone Bank
🧼 SEMO Generation Action Health & Hygiene Drive
The Planned Parenthood Generation Action Chapter at Southeast Missouri State University is collecting health and hygiene items (like shampoo, soap, tampons, pads, diapers, socks, shower shoes, towels, blankets, sweatshirts and sweatpants) for The Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau. If you’re nearby, you can bring items to the drop boxes located across campus. If you’d like to donate from afar, you can send Visa gift cards to:
Safe House for Women
P.O. Box 1167
Cape Girardeau, MO 63702
When sending gift cards, please place a note with your donation that it is part of the Planned Parenthood Action SEMO drive. Questions? Email Grassroots Organizer Aaron Lerma!
New Research on Gender-Affirming Care from PPGP
Using data from electronic health records, a research team at Planned Parenthood Great Plains found that during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients continued to seek out gender-affirming care at the same rate, and there was an increase in the proportion of new patients seeking gender-affirming care compared to the six months prior. As politicians continue to push care farther out of reach for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive patients, we know that access to this care remains vital for our communities.
Training on Wednesday: Repro Justice as a Civic Engagement Framework
Join Toni Watson, the Deputy Organizing Director of the New Georgia Project, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14th during Black Maternal Health Week, for a training on how the reproductive justice framework can forge a solid political practice that includes civic engagement.
Cosponsors for the event include Reale Justice Network, Reproaction, Uzazi Village, and the KC People’s Agenda.