MoLeg Recap: Senate Hearing on Four Bills Attacking Abortion, Birth Control and Planned Parenthood Patients
Last Wednesday, Republicans held a hearing on four bills attacking Missourians’ reproductive freedom: Senate Bills 101, 168, 398 and 458 (see our fact sheets to dig into the details). These bills range from new medically unnecessary restrictions, to “defunding” Planned Parenthood and blocking patients from preventive care, to outright criminal bans on abortion — but they all have common themes:
- They do nothing to protect patients’ health or safety.
- They are designed to spread misinformation, distort the truth, and shame pregnant people and their doctors.
- They are part of a coordinated attempt to end access to abortion in Missouri altogether.
We are grateful to NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri’s Mallory Schwarz for traveling to the Capitol to testify in person against these harmful bills!
With many legislators and staff not wearing masks in close spaces with little ability to social distance, our State Capitol is not a safe place — but that doesn’t mean we aren’t fighting back. Speak out against these extreme attacks on Missourians’ reproductive freedom and tell lawmakers you stand with Planned Parenthood!
Next Tuesday: Black Women’s COVID Tales
In honor of Black women & femmes’ lived experiences, Black Women’s COVID Tales will provide a space for open and honest conversation on how COVID-19 has impacted our intimate relationships. We realize that the global pandemic could have exacerbated the intertwined oppressions that we face as Black women and femmes. Join Dr. Lexx Brown James to talk about how we can better support one another, especially in a global crisis.
Inspired by Jazmine Sullivan’s new album, we plan to unpack the stereotypes that we’ve had to overcome and struggle with to move closer to sexual liberation in the 21st century. How has society shaped your perception of how you should show up in intimate relationships? We’ll end the evening with a call to action to prioritize the Black community in COVID relief efforts. Don’t miss the chance to connect, collaborate, and take action. Can’t wait to see you in the Zoom room, Tuesday, March 16th at 6:00 p.m.!
Reproductive Freedom Champions Win St. Louis Mayoral Primary!
St. Louis City is home to the last abortion provider in Missouri, and the mayor of St. Louis needs to be an advocate for sexual and reproductive health care. Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri proudly endorsed Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer for mayor of St. Louis. For the first time, St. Louis City voters could choose multiple candidates to support in the March 2nd primary election, and the top two candidates on March 2nd proceed to the general election on April 6th.
Advocates and our amazing volunteers engaged in a comprehensive independent expenditure campaign to make sure voters knew which of the four mayoral candidates fully supports reproductive freedom. Advocates' endorsed candidates won decisively over the non-endorsed candidates. Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer came in first and second place in the primary election and will face off in the general election on Tuesday, April 6th. Regardless of the outcome, the next mayor of St. Louis will be a strong advocate for reproductive freedom!
🏳️⚧️ #ProtectTransKids: Speak Out Against the Trans Youth Health Care Ban
The Missouri Legislature is continuing to target transgender kids. Last week, they held a hearing on HJR 53, which would amend the Missouri Constitution to ban transgender kids from playing sports. This Wednesday, lawmakers will hold a hearing on HB 33, which would ban life-saving, medically necessary health care for transgender youth.
Our allies at the ACLU of Missouri and PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBTQ+ advocates, are leading the effort to stop these bills. Take action to #ProtectTransKids by speaking out against this harmful legislation!
Spread the Word: ACA Insurance Enrollment Is Open
On January 28, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to re-open enrollment to the Health Insurance Marketplace, allowing more Americans to sign up for 2021 health coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened a 3-month Special Enrollment Period from February 15 to May 15. This Special Enrollment Period is open to anyone who needs 2021 health insurance. You do not need to provide any documentation of a qualifying event, which is typically required for Special Enrollment Period eligibility.
If you already enrolled in marketplace coverage during Open Enrollment, you have the opportunity to change plans during this enrollment period.
Have questions or need assistance with enrolling in health coverage? Contact Brenda Cross at [email protected] to get free virtual assistance from one of Planned Parenthood's Certified Application Counselors!
Missouri Lawmakers are STILL Governing in the Dark
The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and so does the refusal of Missouri lawmakers to allow people to safely participate in committee hearings by testifying virtually. Lawmakers allowed President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to testify over Zoom, but won’t give Missourians this option. Missourians should not have to choose between risking our health and participating in our democracy!
Add your name to the ACLU of Missouri’s petition demanding our lawmakers set up basic virtual tools so everyday Missourians can participate in hearings and give live testimony on the 1700+ bills moving through the legislative process.
Sen. Hawley Must Resign
It’s been two months since Sen. Josh Hawley has lied to his constituents, undermined our democracy, and violated his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.
He must resign so we can move forward together. Add your name and demand Sen. Hawley resign immediately.