Abortion Battle Widens
The abortion war ignited by HB 126 is no longer a Republican-Democratic battle, or a liberal-conservative battle. This morning Missouri’s healthcare power-players are entering the fray…
· In the Post-Dispatch is an op/ed co-authored by Richard Liekweg, president and CEO of BJC HealthCare, and Dr. David Perlmutter, dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice chancellor for medical affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. See it here. [We] are deeply concerned about legislation in Missouri that will curtail access to comprehensive reproductive health care, obstruct the doctor-patient relationship and criminalize the actions of physicians providing care to women… While there are exceptions for medical emergencies, what constitutes a medical emergency and how the law would be interpreted and enforced involve vast gray areas and vague standards…. Pregnant women die from a range of issues, among them preeclampsia, infection, hemorrhage and embolism. But more often, what constitutes a medical emergency will be open to interpretation under Missouri’s new legislation, meaning obstetricians and gynecologists could be prosecuted for providing the care they and their patients deem necessary.
· On the website of the Missouri Foundation for Health, CEO Bob Hughes, posted a note very critical of HB 126. See it here. When Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 126 into law on May 24th, he stated this action signaled that Missouri stands for protecting women’s health. This law is just the latest action that flies in the face of a preponderance of evidence, conflicts with widespread consensus among health professionals, and will, in fact, be harmful, not helpful to women’s health overall… Women’s health in Missouri will improve when public officials make decisions and administer public programs through actions that are consistent with scientific evidence and with the judgement of professionals who specialize in caring for women…
Why It Matters
· Healthcare is Missouri’s biggest industry. From time to time, I hear folks say agriculture is the state’s biggest industry. I don’t understand how anyone says that. Because it’s not. It’s not second, or third, or fourth or fifth… It’s not even close. By GSP or jobs, healthcare is much much bigger than agriculture.
· These voices, together with Republican donor David Humphreys, are constructing a narrative the law that’s beyond simply conservative, and anti-medicine.
· This is amplified by the Planned Parenthood investigation looking more political than medical. KCStar’s report from last week has the governor’s communications director Steele Shippy leading a strategy conference call in which anti-abortion activists are seemingly being kept appraised on government investigations… One of the anti-abortion advocates on the call questioned whether the state was looking into who was conducting the clinic’s pathology reports on fetal remains and how the remains were being disposed… An unidentified person on the call quickly chimed, “rest assured the pathology side is being investigated. We don’t have a lot of details on that but we’ve been assured that investigation is ongoing.”
The next hearing on the license for Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinic is this morning at 9AM. Post-Dispatch reports on that here.
Kansas City Star says that the issue is pushing Auditor Nicole Galloway to edge toward a gubernatorial run. See it here.
But those close to [Galloway] told The Star this week that she is leaning toward a run, and that Missouri’s eight-week abortion ban may be the factor that tips the scales. “It would be fair to say that she is very seriously considering challenging the governor,” a source close to Galloway with knowledge of her thinking told The Star. “His extreme position on women’s health has certainly influenced her thinking about a potential challenge.”
· By the end of May, state revenues remained in good shape. They were ahead of the previous year-to-date numbers by $176 million, or 2.07%
· Renew Missouri is providing a Continuing Legal Education session on June 14th. Governor Jay Nixon will be doing an appellate section on the Grain Belt Express Supreme Court case. See it here.
· Elizabeth Dumm, Empire District’s lobbyist for many years, has left Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp.
Scott Cupps formed a candidate committee (Cupps For House) to run for House 158 as a Republican in the special election in November.
CL PAC - $50,000 from David Steward.
Uniting Missouri PAC - $15,000 from Warrenton Oil Co.
Great Outdoors PAC - $17,000 from Seven Points LLC.
A Better Missouri Political Action Committee - $9,100 from Anheuser-Busch Cos.
City of Fountains Committee - $15,000 from Herzog Contracting Corp.
Jacqueline Bardgett deleted Independent Colleges & Universities of Missouri.
Jeff Brooks, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, Bill Gamble, David Jackson, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Schlemeier, Sarah Topp, and Olivia Wilson added Keep Me in College Inc.
Henry Thomas Herschel added May Scheve Reardon.
Rodney Hubbard added COLE.
Jack Cardetti added V3 Holdings Missouri LLC, and QPS Missouri Holdings LLC.
Happy birthday to Colleen Coble.