17 March 2011
For Immediate Release
This morning, the Senate Committee on Judiciary heard testimony opposing HB 2218, a ban on later term abortion with no exception for fetal anomaly or clear definition of physical conditions that would constitute a threat great enough to the mother to allow the procedure. This bill removes the ability of pregnant women and families to make critical decisions about pregnancy in consultation with their physicians. It puts lawmakers in the position of health care administrator and decision-maker and bans safe, legal procedures. HB 2218 is nothing more than political interference in a pregnant woman’s most personal, private medical decisions.
The women and families who will be adversely affected by HB 2218 are those whose pregnancies went horribly, irreversibly wrong. HB 2218 may, in some cases, take away a woman’s ability to have children in the future by refusing her needed medical care.
Phil Wood, a Missouri psychology professor providing testimony opposing HB 2218, spoke about his experience as the father of twins diagnosed in utero with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and how HB 2218 does not recognize the different situations people are faced with.
“I do not believe that the legislature intends for women’s fertility to be sacrificed in the name of politics,” said Julie Burkhart, Executive Director of Trust Women. “We must be mindful of the fact that pregnancy is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation – each woman is different, with different medical needs, and each pregnancy is different as well. We must honor the differences in each woman and the physicians – OBGYN’s, Family Physicians, Perinatologist, Maternal/Fetal Medicine Specialists – who strive to provide sound care and counsel to the women who present before them.”
“If the Legislature wants to help enhance the lives of pregnant women, Trust Women calls on them to implement policies so that all women have access to quality health care, access to quality prenatal care and equal access to contraception,” said Julie Burkhart, Executive Director of Trust Women. “Policing the lives of pregnant women is unacceptable and misguided.”