Examining State Efforts to Undermine Access to Reproductive Health Care

Date: 
Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 2:00pm
Location: 
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Examining State Efforts to Undermine Access to Reproductive Health Care

ACTING CHAIRWOMAN MALONEY'S OPENING STATEMENT

PURPOSE

  • Committee Members will hear from the patient, provider, and advocacy perspectives on how state policies—like those in Missouri—are impacting access to comprehensive reproductive health care services, including abortion
  • The hearing will examine how states, emboldened by the Trump Administration’s sustained and systemic attacks on reproductive health care, are restricting access, and it will explore the federal government’s role in preserving access to reproductive health care services for patients across the United States.

BACKGROUND

  • State governments have been taking draconian steps to restrict their residents’ access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion. As a result, six states have only one remaining abortion provider.
  • Missouri has taken some of the most extreme measures to limit access to abortion. Missouri currently has only one health clinic that provides abortions in the state and is at risk of being the first state in the country without a single abortion clinic.
  • Earlier this year, the Missouri State Department of Health and Senior Services, under the direction of Dr. Randall Williams, began enforcing an unnecessary pelvic examination requirement on patients 72 hours before receiving an abortion.
  • Dr. Williams also recently acknowledged that health department officials had created a spreadsheet that compiled information about Planned Parenthood patients’ menstrual cycles.
  • State governments have been emboldened in their efforts to restrict access to abortion by the Trump Administration’s systemic attacks on reproductive health care, including by dismantling the Title X federal family planning program and expanding providers’ ability to discriminate by denying care.

WITNESSES

Jennifer Box
St. Louis, Missouri

Fatima Goss Graves
President and Chief Executive Officer, National Women's Law Center

Marcela Howell
Founder and President/Chief Executive Officer, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, OB/GYN
Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

Allie Stuckey (minority witness)
Carrollton, Texas

DOCUMENTS

Issues: 
116th Congress