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Anti-Abortion Protester Beats Charge for Trespassing at Planned Parenthood

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Planned Parenthood
Protesters from the "40 Days for Life" campaign regularly demonstrate outside Planned Parenthood's Central West End clinic.
When is one woman's free speech another woman's harassment?

The question continues to fester at the front gates of Planned Parenthood clinics across the county. That includes Columbia, Missouri, where last week lawyers successfully defended an anti-abortion protester charged with trespassing on the local Planned Parenthood clinic's property.

"This case was brought with no evidence that Kathy trespassed," says attorney Daniel Baker, whose client, New Bloomfield-resident Kathy Forck, had been cited for crossing the clinic's property line during a "40 Days for Life" sidewalk protest on July 24, 2012.


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Gov. Nixon Vetoes Abortion Bill, Missouri Women Escape Three-Day Waiting Period

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Courtesy of the Governor's Office
Governor Nixon vetoed an abortion bill he called "insulting to women."
Missouri governor Jay Nixon didn't mince words in his Wednesday veto of a mandated 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

The waiting period "serves no demonstrable purpose other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already spent considerable time wrestling with perhaps the most difficult decision they may ever have to make," wrote Nixon, delivering one of several gubernatorial face-slaps to the conservative-dominated legislature that passed the bill in May.

Nixon's three-page takedown of the bill (which you can read after the jump) immediately drew national media attention for its unequivocally blunt language, but there's something else worth noting: His arguments against the waiting period mirror those of Missouri women who've spent years fighting the same "misguided paternalism" Nixon derided in the veto message.

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Gov. Nixon Criticizes Abortion Bill for Not Protecting Rape, Incest Victims

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Courtesy of the Governor's Office
Governor Jay Nixon says he's concerned about the Missouri Legislature's new anti-abortion bill.
Only one state in the country requires women to wait for three days to have an abortion -- even if they are the victim of sexual assault.

That state is South Dakota, not Missouri. But unless Governor Jay Nixon vetoes a bill the Missouri Legislature sent to his desk this week, Missouri will extend its abortion waiting period to 72 hours from 24 hours.

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Will Gov. Nixon Veto the 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period in Missouri?

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Governor Nixon has 45 days to veto the bill, or else it goes into law.
Planned Parenthood, Missouri's only abortion provider, is asking Governor Jay Nixon to veto a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature that would force women to wait three days before having an abortion.

Women already jump through several hoops to obtain an abortion in Missouri, where the only legal clinic is a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis' Central West End. State law requires women to receive counseling information, sign a consent form declaring their decision to end the pregnancy is free and voluntary, have two health-center appointments and then wait another 24 hours.


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Missouri Senate Passes 72-Hour Waiting Period for Abortions

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Paul Sableman on Flickr
The House has until 6 p.m. Friday to pass the extended waiting period for women seeking abortions.
With only four days left in the legislative session, state senators took Missouri a step closer to tripling the mandated waiting period for women seeking abortions.

The Senate passed a bill 22-9 early Tuesday morning that would require a woman to wait 72 hours after seeing a doctor before she could terminate her pregnancy. Missouri already requires women to wait 24 hours, and only Utah and South Dakota require women to wait three days.


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Missouri's D.C. Representatives Fight for Corporate Right to Put God in Your Uterus

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Sen. Roy Blunt is leading the way to put God in your uterus.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the Hobby Lobby case that seeks to answer the question of whether a corporation can restrict a woman's access to health care on religious grounds -- and not a single Missouri representative in Washington has spoken out against it.

Hobby Lobby, a retail chain owned by an upstanding Christian family that sells cheap arts and crafts products made by the hands of sweatshop-bound Chinese laborers who are sometimes forced to have abortions due to their communist country's one-child policy, doesn't want its female employees to have affordable access to emergency contraception, such as Plan B and IUDs, which are known to be amazingly effective and safe birth control devices. Unfortunately, the religious knickknack giant believes these medications and devices induce abortions. They don't.

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Not Even Stacey Newman's Knitted Uterus Can Halt MO Anti-Abortion Bills

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Newman brought a backup uterus while debating anti-abortion bills last week.
The knitted uterus was a gift, explains Democratic State Representative Stacey Newman. An OB/GYN in Virginia had sent it "several years ago" as appreciation for her legislative work

Newman kept the memento on her desk last Tuesday, during floor debates over the first wave of anti-abortion bills passing through the House. Her proposed bill, which sought to ban pregnancy resource centers from performing medical procedures without licensed medical staff, died in committee.

"Many PRC's offer inaccurate medical information and services with no trained medical staff," Newman says of the religiously-affiliated clinics. "No one else would dare seek medical attention from a lay person. It's wrong to offer that, particularly to a pregnant woman in a crisis situation."

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Planned Parenthood: "40 Days For Life" Anti-Abortion Protesters Are Harassing Our Patients

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Planned Parenthood
The nearest dentist's office probably isn't surrounded by a praying, chanting crowd right now. Same goes for the nearest cardiologist's or closest library. But for patients seeking the medical services at the Central West End Planned Parenthood, the visit is accompanied by insistent, pious protesters who cluster around the clinic's front driveway.

"By the time they get to our front steps, it's not uncommon for our patients to be in tears,"
says Paula Gianino, president of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.

On March 5, the St. Louis-based Coalition For Life kicked off its "40 Days For Life" campaign, which will place anti-abortion protesters at Planned Parenthood's gated, compoundlike CWE location every day of the week for the next 40 days.


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Missouri Ranking: No. 31 In Treatment Of Women, Given D+

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American Center for Progress
A color-ranked map of U.S. in terms of each state's treatment of women. Green is good, yellow is the middle, red is bad. Missouri is orange, which is medium-bad.
The progressive think tank Center for American Progress just released an exhaustive, nationwide analysis of women's treatment in the U.S. titled "The State of Women in America."

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St. Louis Archdiocese Fight Against Contraception: Mandate Lawsuit Dismissed

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via
Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis
Last May, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities went up against the United States government with a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a health care contraception mandate -- and this week, a federal judge decided to dismiss the case. But the battle is not over.

So say officials with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, who are arguing that the decision in no way constitutes a judgement on the merits of the case; they also argue that the ruling demonstrates that the federal government was ill-conceived in forcing regulations before they were final.

So why, then, did U.S. District Judge John Ross shut the case down?

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