LETTER TO THE EDITOR: HB 1613 is an insult to women

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Last week I joined hundreds of people in Jefferson City to attend the Rally for Women’s Lives event. This march and rally centered around several different issues that impact women, including pay equality and reproductive rights.

That same day, Rep. Chuck Gatchensberger’s House Bill 1613 was heard in committee. This hearing attracted national attention from multiple media outlets like The Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Cosmo and MSNBC.

Missouri makes national headlines again — it reminds me of the Todd Akin's Senate race.

HB 1613 would triple the waiting period for a woman to access her legal right to an abortion. In addition to a required ultrasound, this bill would also force providers to tell women medically inaccurate information, including false claims that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have all debunked such myths.

During the hearing, Gatchensberger compared the complex decision of abortion to the purchase of a car or carpeting for his home. This flawed analogy is an insult to the complex decision-making that women and their families go through.

Most of the anti-choice “advocates” in the Missouri legislature tend to be men. Funny that they take so much time pushing restrictions on a choice that they will never be in the position to make.

It’s too bad that during an election year, women’s legal rights, upheld by the Supreme Court, are used as talking points for their campaign stops.

Emma Bagnardi is a sophomore animal science major at MU.


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Joanne Schrader April 15, 2014 | 2:00 p.m.

When Planned Parenthood in Columbia was doing abortions, they already forced women to wait three days before undergoing an abortion. Clients arrived on Mondays for examinations, blood tests, counseling, and ultrasounds. They returned on Thursdays if they decided to go through with the abortion. Here we have Planned Parenthood objecting to what was their own practice anyway.

Patients of other elective surgeries and medical procedures which are perfectly legal too usually have to wait three or more days. I waited a month to have an colonoscopy. Yes, abortion is not like buying a car or carpeting. It brutally takes the life of another human being.

The vast majority of studies regarding abortion and breast cancer have found there is such a link even those doing a meta-analysis. Just recently a study of Chinese women showed an increased risk of breast cancer. China performs hundreds of thousands of abortions (sometimes forced). Remember also that there is no stigma attached to abortion in China because of the government's policies and indoctrination.

The reason ACOG denies such a link is because it is made up of members who support abortion. That is one reason why a group of pro-life gynecologists and obstetricians started their own medical organization. ACOG, NCI, and ACS also state that carrying your first child past 32 weeks gestation is a protective factor against breast cancer. So which is it?

Here we have a media that reports on various conflicting studies involving other cancers, medical conditions, foods, diets, etc. however slight but stays silent when it comes to abortion and its complications and adverse events. Instead of abortion providers saying here is all the available information, they just deny that there is any link. At least, be honest and say some studies have shown an increased risk while others did not. Women deserve to learn all the data and make up their own minds.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 15, 2014 | 3:13 p.m.

Why don't you let each woman, who is considering abortion, to make up her own mind without telling her what to do? This is not a decision most women come to lightly. It's often the most difficult decision they'll ever make. No one wants to do this, but it can be the best of a series of bad options.

A "decreased risk of breast cancer" isn't the issue. The issue is for the mother to be free to choose a course of action based on her own appraisal of her situation, which is something no one else should be doing for her. If you don't like abortion, don't have one. If you don't need one it's none of your business.


(Report Comment)
Michael Williams April 15, 2014 | 4:32 p.m.

MarkF: I conclude that you believe a fetus has no rights as a human being.

So, tell me: If a woman and her unborn fetus are killed by a gunshot to the belly, is it a double...or single...homicide?

Also, what is it about that 4" long birth canal that confers humanness if you are on one side, but non-humanness on the other?

Finally, why is YOUR choice to confer "humanness" at first-breath any better than a choice to confer "humanness" at...say...age 2, where before that mom/dad can say "We choose that you die"? What is your authority for your choice and, especially, why is your choice any better than...say...mine, whatever mine may be?

Quite frankly, I no longer care if a woman/man do not wish to see their child's first birthday or that happy first day off the bus from kindergarten. That's their problem to deal with now and in the future. But, I care a lot about the REASONS for the various choices....reasons that are at least logically consistent and make good law.

So far, the reasons make no consistent sense at all, but answering my questions might go towards me changing my mind.

(Report Comment)

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