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A Loss in the Courts Won't Stop Missouri's Anti-Abortion Wave
 
Meanwhile, shortly after Republicans in Congress moved to defund Planned Parenthood, state Republican Rep. Robert Ross proposed an amendment to House Bill 11—an appropriations bill for the Missouri Department of Social Services—that would allow the state to prevent "abortion services" providers from receiving state family planning funding. This could potentially include any group that provides even abortion referrals upon request.  Allison Dreith, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri characterized the amended bill as having the potential to create "a public health crisis in our state, if family planning clinics, hospitals, and Planned Parenthood are defunded from Medicaid reimbursement." The measure passed the House on a 107-39 vote and is now with the Senate. 
Setting Missouri Republicans straight on MLK and abortion

Missouri Republicans are no strangers to inaccurate and offensive language, especially when it comes to abortion. Just like former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s now infamous line, "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” conservatives in the Missouri legislature have made similar horrifying statements.

State  Senators Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis) and Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau) recently gained national attention when they spoke in opposition to a proposed tax increase benefitting the St. Louis Zoo, because they oppose St. Louis’ Board Bill 203, the reproductive nondiscrimination ordinance, which was signed into law in February. Onder, whose bill targeting abortion clinics had been opposed through filibuster the night before, said falsely that zoos are more heavily regulated than abortion clinics in Missouri. Missouri is currently the third most restrictive state in the country specific to abortion access, with only one remaining clinic serving over 3 million women....

 
For women seeking abortions, state restrictions make access a challenge

Alison Dreith never imagined that she would receive an abortion. But last May, at the age of 35, she went with her husband to Illinois for the procedure.

One in three women in America will have an abortion during their lifetime, but in Missouri, restrictions on access to abortion services have made getting abortions very difficult.

Missouri law requires a 72-hour waiting period for women before they have their initial consultation with a abortion provider. Dreith, who lives in St. Louis and is the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, decided to get her abortion in Illinois because she didn’t want to be forced to wait. Through NARAL, she knew the provider in Illinois personally, which she said made the choice to go out of state easier.

 
Campaign Life Missouri and NARAL Missouri view pregnancy resource centers differently; both groups testify on Kevin Engler bill

NARAL Missouri Executive Director Alison Dreith testifies against the bill, telling senators that pregnancy resource centers "often lie to and shame women.”

"And when women come to these crisis pregnancy centers and are lied to about the development of their fetuses and how far along they are, this adds to exasperate women not getting the prenatal care that they need,” Dreith tells senators.

Dreith also alleges that some PRC’s tell women that birth control will give them breast cancer.

Dreith tells senators NARAL Missouri is not opposed to the maternity homes.

 
Unthinkable: What If Roe Is Overturned?
 
There is increased urgency to pass legislation at the state level because if Roe is overturned, regulation of abortion will be returned to the states. Pro-choice groups have been working hard to find common ground with potential but untapped allies to increase public support, including tying related pieces of legislation together. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri’s 21st Century Women’s Health Initiative is advocating for both the Reproductive Non-Discrimination Act and the Missouri Family Leave Act. "This year, we got our first hearing on paid leave, as more Republicans in leadership are starting to talk about the issue,” said Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. "Kansas City has already expanded paid leave for their city employees, and the governor expanded it to over 40,000 employees under the state's executive branch. We are currently working to expand paid leave to city employees in two other municipalities. When we talk about these four pillars together—abortion, birth control, nondiscrimination, and paid leave—voters overwhelmingly support our cause.” 
Local Liberal Groups Voice Opposition to Supreme Court Nominee
 
Other groups opposing Gorsuch’s nomination include NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, says Executive Director Alison Dreith.

"We know that Judge Gorsuch is just as extreme as President Trump is. President Trump has promised to punish women and overturn Roe v. Wade,” she says.

 

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21st Century Women’s Health

Repro Rights meet Economic Justice
It's time to pass Reproductive Non-Discrimination Act and Family Medical Leave Act, in order to ensure that the women and families of Missouri have access to the services they need, want, and deserve.

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