Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog For Choice Day

Missouri, I'm disappointed you.

I spend a lot of time talking up my home state to naysayers who write it off as hotbed red state conservatism (granted, I live in a blue dot in a red state), but this is indefensible. Missouri has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, netting it a grade of F from Naral.

A woman may not receive abortion services until at least 24 hours after receiving a state-mandated lecture containing medically inaccurate information from the abortion provider. The provider is required to discuss with her the "indicators and contra-indicators, and risk factors including any physical, psychological, or situational factors for the proposed procedure and the use of medications, including but not limited to mifepristone, in light of her medical history and medical condition." The law also requires the woman to receive materials that state that "the life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being." Mo. Rev. Stat. § 188.039 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 2010).
No funds for insurance and services for uninsured children may be used to counsel or refer for abortion unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman's life or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. No person or organization that counsels or refers for abortion, unless necessary to preserve the woman's life or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, may receive funds under the Children's Health Insurance Program. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 208.631 (Enacted 1998; Last Amended 2002), § 208.655 (Enacted 1998).
Missouri has created additional threats to privacy and choice by adding anti-choice language to its state code to express its opposition to abortion and its intent to restrict the right to choose to the greatest extent possible.
Today is Blog For Choice Day and on its blog, Naral asks particpants "Given the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?" Living in a state that makes it increasingly difficult to obtain a safe abortion, I've always been concerned about choice.

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