Missouri in 2014 led all state legislatures in introducing bills designed to restrict reproductive rights. It appears that lawmakers in the state are working to ensure that Missouri may once again earn that distinction in 2015.
Anti-choice Missouri legislators are primed to continue their assault on reproductive rights by planning to introduce a bill in January that would require health inspections of abortion clinics. There was, as of January 2014, only one abortion clinic in the state.
The bill is in response to documents released in April that purport to show that clinics that provide abortion services in New York state are not being regularly inspected by the state health department.
There’s only one remaining abortion clinic in Missouri—a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis—and anti-choice lawmakers are hell-bent on closing it, introducing nearly 40 anti-choice bills over the past two years.
A Houston doctor who has provided safe abortion care in Texas for 40 years has had his medical license temporarily suspended following the enforcement of HB 2.
“This is simply just another bill to harass us because we provide abortion care, and not a bill to address a problem, because no problem exists,” said Paula Gianino, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and of Southwest Missouri.
The documents, which were requested by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in May, show that the state already had one of the nation’s most proactive and aggressive systems to police abortion services and ensure that facilities were complying with those rules.
SB 1069 would allow for more unannounced clinic inspections, possibly leading to clinic closures in the state, and is designed to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates.