This past week my bill, HB1853 received national attention from none other than Rush Limbaugh on Fox News. I filed the Anti-Vasectomy bill in response to the increasing furor in the state legislature and Congress to restrict women’s access to reproductive healthcare - this year the attack is on birth control.
Used by over 98% of child-bearing women and over 98% of Catholic women, birth control is also prescribed for many women for various health reasons – including prevention of some cancers and regulation of hormonal levels. It’s been considered safe since 1960 – so what exactly is the furor about? Political agendas.
I’ve had enough. HB1863 is modeled on legislation which my progressive colleague, Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal filed recently in her state for the exact same reasons.
Since Limbaugh talked about it on his show Friday, I have been hearing from women and men across Missouri AND all over the country who are thanking me. I've received calls from women who have told me privately that their sister or aunt depended on birth control medications for extreme serious health situations.
Limbaugh's vitriol has become extreme against women who use birth control– as I’m sure you have heard. This week he has been targeting Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student whose Congressional testimony was blocked – but in essence, he is attacking every woman and their partners who depend on birth control to plan if and when to have children.
So along with my co-sponsors – Reps. Tishaura Jones, Tracy McCreery, Mary Nichols, Rochelle Walton Gray, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Sharon Pace, Judy Morgan and Cherie Spreng – we simply said “enough is enough”.
Equality and justice = men need the same government barriers that women have when making decisions with their physicians. Some may laugh but WE WOMEN ARE NOT LAUGHING in committee and on the House floor each week when our reproductive decisions are constantly scrutinized with intrusive government proposals.
Read local coverage here and Kansas City TV coverage here. A more tongue in cheek article here from the St. Louis Riverfront Times.
OUR CURRENT STATE SENATOR IS AFTER WOMEN TOO
Sen. John Lamping has filed Missouri’s equivalent of the “Blunt Amendment” which would allow corporations, employers, HMO’s and insurers to deny coverage for birth control and other women’s reproductive health care.
SB749, like Congressman Roy Blunt’s amendment (which just failed this week) would not undo the recent Obama Administration decision to extend birth control without co-pays to millions of American women, but the entire new health care program.
Sen. Lamping claims he’s only trying to protect the “conscience” rights of these corporations to deny birth control, in vitro fertilization, etc but corporations don’t have “consciences” to protect.
I am greatly disappointed in Sen. Lamping for sponsoring SB749 which would hurt the majority of women in this district and across the state. I am passionately working to defeat it and any other legislation that restricts women from accessing the healthcare we need.