Women’s Healthcare and Human Rights Are Under Assault! Let’s Make Missouri Officials Hear Us!
Issue: In an effort to close the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri, officials have mandated a state-sponsored sexual assault on women.
Go deeper: Women in Missouri seeking an abortion must now undergo a mandatory, medically unnecessary pelvic exam 72 hours before having the procedure, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Thursday night.
The Republican-led state government enacted the rule last Thursday, led by Dr. Randall Williams, the state’s Director of Health and Senior Services, and approved by Governor Mike Parson. This is one of several "targeted laws designed to shut down clinics," Maddow said, "to make it impossible to work as an abortion provider in Missouri, penalties and obstacles that the state government has put in place to try to make it too hard and too expensive and just too awkward and difficult and uncomfortable for a woman to get an abortion if she wants one, despite her constitutional right to do so."
Patients already had to wait 72 hours before having an abortion, and doctors conducted pelvic exams on the day of the procedure.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri told The Rachel Maddow Show this "inappropriate" new initial pelvic exam is "state-sanctioned, essentially, sexual assault." It does not give her any medical information that would help her care for her patient, she said, and for women with a history of trauma, it can open old wounds.
Missouri currently has just one operating abortion clinic. Maddow believes the lawmakers have two goals: to punish women who go in for abortions, and to finally push the doctors into giving up, and shutting the clinic down for good. "That is not what's happening," Maddow said. "For now at least, the doctors in Missouri are reluctantly and against their will complying with this new rule, even though they are clearly distraught over it.
While Roe v Wade is under a full-fledged assault by Republican-controlled state legislatures nation-wide, Missouri’s Mike Parsons and Randall Williams are the worst examples of this attack on women’s healthcare and fundamental human rights.
Although we always say it is important to contact our own legislators, there are instances that require us to make our voices heard, no matter to whom in power we speak.
Let’s tell these men in Missouri that they are on the wrong side of history and we won’t let them take back women’s lawful and constitutional rights.
Contact Governor Mike Parson here: (573) 751-3222
Contact Dr. Randall Williams here: (573) 751-6001 (executive assistant Debbie Mebruer)
Script: We will never stand by while you attack the fundamental constitutional and human rights of women with your state-sanctioned sexual assaults. We will make sure that you are never elected or appointed to any office again. History and the courts will be your judge.