LETTER: Women's health should be a priority for new Missouri legislators

Thursday, November 20, 2008 | 11:02 a.m. CST; updated 11:53 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 20, 2008

The recent election and the change of power have shown that Missourians are looking for a shift in direction. The majority of Missourians voted for a pro-choice governor and statewide officials.

We should demand that our state legislature follow suit and start taking real steps toward improving access to contraception. While emergency contraception (commonly known as the “morning-after pill”) is 80 percent effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex, it is routinely unavailable to those who need it. Misinformation and misconceptions about the difference between contraception and abortion often result in pharmacists who intimidate, lecture or flat out refuse women who are seeking emergency contraception. Many of our state’s emergency rooms refuse to dispense emergency contraception to rape victims, forcing them to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy to avoid becoming pregnant.

Instead of solving real-world problems like unplanned pregnancy, every year the Missouri General Assembly considers legislation to allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception , and measures that would assure that victims of assault are provided with information on the drug are consistently blocked. We should demand that our legislators start taking measurable steps to change the outlook for women’s health.


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Charles Dudley Jr November 22, 2008 | 5:36 a.m.

While it is important to ensure women get quality physical health care what about their mental health care as well.

I think these two go hand in hand and are very important to the entire scope of this ongoing issue.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking November 23, 2008 | 5:51 a.m.

Regular birth control pills can also be used as emergency contraceptives - a lot of women don't know that.


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