March 8 marks International Women’s Day, a global day to celebrate women’s achievements in their drive for gender equality, and a time to call on our electeds to do their part to keep women’s rights moving forward.
Unfortunately, in Missouri, so far this year extremists in the legislature have done the exact opposite of what’s best for women. From putting women’s lives at risk to regulating their clothes, the majority party has painted an ugly picture of what women’s future looks like in the state.
Prioritizing Political Stunts Over Moms’ Lives
After research emerged showing Missouri had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, Missourians called on their legislature to finally do something about it.
The legislature soon began working on a bipartisan effort to expand Medicaid coverage for new moms from 60 days postpartum to one year. Missouri is one of only nine states that hasn’t expanded coverage.
When the bill passed the House, many celebrated, but the fight isn’t over yet.
Radicals in the Missouri Senate, anxious to score political points, added an amendment to the bill that may prevent it from going into effect. That’s right – our state senate had the choice between politics and saving lives, and they chose the former.
An average of 61 women die each year within their first year postpartum in Missouri. How many will die waiting for politicians to care?
Trying To Ban Birth Control
After enacting the first abortion ban in the country following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Missouri has continued their extreme crusade to control women’s bodies.
Just weeks ago, the Senate began hearing bills to ban women on Medicaid from receiving any health care from Planned Parenthood. That includes birth control and even non-reproductive health care like cancer screenings.
This is the next step in the all-out war extremists in the senate are waging on women’s health and bodily autonomy.
Telling Women (Only) What Clothes They Can Wear
Radical legislators once again found themselves so obsessed with women’s bodies that they simply couldn’t get any other work done.
This year, the house kicked off the legislative session by making dress code changes exclusively for women legislators, making national news in the process.
The legislature could have landed their first headlines of the year for finally addressing Missouri’s abysmal maternal mortality rate. Instead they chose to focus on jackets.
Jeff City Politicians: It’s Time To Do Better
Today is a day to celebrate progress – but in Missouri, we don’t have much to celebrate.
Women in Missouri should be able to count on their politicians to work for them: to guarantee their access to health care, to treat elected women like equals, and most of all to keep them alive.
As the majority party, it’s Republicans’ responsibility to ensure legislation serves ALL Missourians, including the half of the state some of them decided to throw under the bus to serve their own interests.
It’s time the legislature does better by women, ends the cycle of stripping women’s rights, and moves the fight for equality forward.
Posted March 8, 2023