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Trust Women? Not in Missouri

Written by Pamela Merritt for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

On March 30 I listened through live audio stream as the Missouri House of Representatives voted to pass the 2010 Abortion Restriction Bill (HB1327/2000). This bill would create new, unnecessary restrictions on access to abortion services in Missouri to join the existing unnecessary restrictions already in place. The legislation also violates a woman’s constitutional right to make an informed decision about abortion.

The debate and vote took place on the same day that organizations opposed to abortion gathered in the state capitol for their official lobby day, so conditions pointed to a perfect anti-choice storm. The leadership, and many within the state legislative body are opposed to abortion, and those who support them in that opposition were on hand to cheer them on in their efforts to restrict access to abortion services in Missouri. There’s nothing like listening to elected officials debate whether women are capable of understanding a medical procedure and making a decision whether to have that procedure to clarify just how ill-informed those elected officials are about state law, how little respect they have for women, and how little they actually know about real women’s lives.

Here are some gems from the Missouri House debate. Representative Cynthia Davis (R-O’Fallon) said, “Abortion is a kind of domestic violence as well,” and went on to say that “women don’t naturally want to kill their offspring. Women who are loved, cared for and supported don’t mind having their own child.” Representative Pratt (R-Blue Springs) and Representative Nieves (R-Union) decided that anyone who voted against the bill was actively "protecting rapists."

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