Monday Monitor: April 18, 2016
By Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri | April 18, 2016, 3:57 p.m.
More than 4000 Missourians have signed on to the petition to tell Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) that enough is enough. They’ve had it with his schemes to punish Missourians, invade privacy, and attack our rights.
When Kurt Schaefer ran for Senate, he described himself as a moderate who wouldn’t play politics. Now he’s attacking Missourians’ access to health care to score political points with extremists.
Sen. Schaefer is pushing legislation that would take vital health care services like birth control and annual exams away from thousands of Missourians. He’s already cut access to safe, legal abortion in Mid-Missouri. He is trying to force Planned Parenthood to turn over private patient information in violation of federal law. And now, Sen. Schaefer is threatening to throw Planned Parenthood’s President and CEO in jail if he doesn’t get his way.
Have you signed yet? Add your name and share the petition on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word!
- Add Your Name: ShameOnSchaefer.com
- Daily Kos: MO legislator demands names of women who have had an abortion
Shame on Schaefer Rally for Reproductive Rights
Nearly 200 supporters stood in solidarity with Planned Parenthood and patient privacy against Sen. Schaefer’s egregious attacks at the St. Louis #ShameOnSchaefer Rally for Reproductive Rights on Saturday afternoon. Advocate and Planned Parenthood patient Ellen Dempsher emceed the event, which kicked off with two students performing slam poetry calling out Sen. Schaefer and anti-reproductive health politicians. The speaker lineup featured Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri Board President Linda Raclin, State Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis County), State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City), Rev. Cindy Bumb, and Christine Assefa of the Organization for Black Struggle. All spoke to the crowd about the need to fight back against legislative restrictions on reproductive rights, especially Sen. Schaefer’s threats to jail Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri CEO Mary Kogut for protecting private patient medical information.
In Springfield, advocates turned out on Saturday afternoon for a #ShameOnSchaefer visibility event at the Planned Parenthood Health Center.
#ShameOnSchaefer visibility events at the Columbia, MO and Overland Park, KS Planned Parenthood Health Centers are scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, April 23. RSVP below to reserve a #ShameOnSchaefer tee!
- Boom Magazine STL: Shame On Schaefer: A Rally for Reproductive Rights
- RSVP for Columbia #ShameOnSchaefer visibility event: Email Jack
- RSVP for Overland Park #ShameOnSchaefer visibility event: Email Jack
Senate Republicans Subpoena Planned Parenthood CEO Over Private Patient Information
Last week, the Missouri Senate passed SR 1793, summoning Mary Kogut, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. This resolution demands Ms. Kogut appear before the entire Senate on Monday, April 25, to explain why she has not turned over documents that include private patient medical information.
This is Sen. Schaefer’s latest attack on Planned Parenthood, patient privacy, and Missourians’ reproductive rights. The subpoena seeks six years patient related information protected by federal law under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). “It is deeply concerning that health care providers could be jailed for protecting patients’ privacy,” said Kogut.
- Kansas City Star: Missouri Planned Parenthood official faces threat of jail time
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: Planned Parenthood must stand firm against demand to supply patient records
House Passes HB 2069 Ban on Fetal Tissue Donation
The Missouri House voted last week to pass HB 2069, a measure that bans fetal tissue donation after an abortion and imposes burdensome and medically unnecessary reporting requirements on providers. Fetal tissue donation is a legal and ethical practice that has led to medical advances for decades, including lifesaving vaccines for polio and rubella. Research on fetal tissue is currently furthering scientific understanding of conditions that affect maternal and fetal health, like Zika virus, preeclampsia, and fetal chromosomal disorders.
House Bill 2069 stems from a legislative investigation of discredited allegations from an anti-abortion smear campaign. Despite the Missouri Attorney General’s investigation that found Planned Parenthood fully complies with all applicable law, and despite the fact that the leaders of the smear campaign have been indicted; lawmakers continue to push harmful measures to solve nonexistent problems. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it may be referred to a committee for a hearing before being debated by the entire body.
Associated Press: Missouri House advances ban on fetal tissue donation
Budget Attacks on Preventive Health Care, Planned Parenthood and Medicaid Patients
The House and Senate versions of the state budget undermine Missourians’ access to reproductive health care and attack Planned Parenthood. Each chamber has appointed five members to negotiate and reconcile the differences. A final vote is expected this week.
Both the House and the Senate budgets prohibit Missouri’s Medicaid patients from choosing a provider who offers or refers for abortion. This language directly contradicts federal law, which guarantees Medicaid patients the right to choose their own health care provider. In an effort to skirt federal law, the Senate budget includes a proposal from Sen. Schaefer to opt out of the Medicaid family planning program and instead creates an entirely new state program that prohibits any provider who offers or refers for abortion, including Planned Parenthood. Sen. Schaefer’s reckless proposal requires Missouri to forfeit $8 million in federal money just to prove a political point while denying thousands of Missourians access to vital preventive health care.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri provide thousands of Medicaid patients high-quality, compassionate health care each year, including birth control, annual exams, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. This budget scheme would leave many of these patients with nowhere else to turn for their care.
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