Abortion: Could GOP Bill Prevent Rape Victims From Accessing Emergency Contraception?

Categories: Politics

Here's the latest version of the legislation.

HB 475

And here's a press release from Planned Parenthood that outlines some of the concerns.

HB457: DENIAL OF CARE BILL THREATENS TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEATLHCARE IN MISSOURI

Jefferson City, MO -- Today the Missouri House took up legislation (HB457) designed to protect and encourage those who refuse to provide critical reproductive health services to women in Missouri.

Missouri law already grants protections to individuals who refuse to provide access to safe and legal abortions. This bill unnecessarily expands the law to protect and encourage the denial of birth control including emergency contraception to rape survivors, sterilization, assisted reproduction and stem cell research. The bill also allows medical professionals and institutions to deny referrals for the necessary care if they refuse to provide it. Patients in need of care for a range of reasons could be discriminated against and left without care they need.

For example:
• A rape victim could be denied information and access to emergency contraception, even when it is the hospital's policy to adhere to these standards of care outlined by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other accrediting bodies.
• A woman with an ectopic pregnancy that isn't considered life threatening yet could be denied care, including a referral as to where to receive care, until she comes back so sick that her life is in danger.
• A woman experiencing a miscarriage could be denied care because her life is not considered to be at risk. This delay could cause the woman to have serious health issues or even die.
• A patient at risk of contracting HIV could be refused information about and access to contraception. Similarly, allowing providers to deny contraceptive information and access could mean people with HIV may unknowingly infect others.
• A married couple having trouble getting pregnant could be refused time sensitive information about assisted reproduction and lose their chance at having a child.
• A woman with a condition that significantly increases her health risks during pregnancy, such as cancer, rheumatic fever, severe diabetes, phlebitis, sickle cell anemia and heart disease, could be denied information about how to prevent a pregnancy.

A woman should have accurate information about all of her options. Information should support a woman, help her make a decision for herself, and enable her to take care of her health and well-being. Information should not be provided with the intent of coercing, shaming or judging a woman.

Planned Parenthood works hard each and every day to provide essential -- often life-saving -- health care services. In fact, last year nearly 80,000 women, men and teens came to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri for services such as cancer screenings, STD testing, comprehensive sex education, and birth control.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.



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