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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently sent guidance to the nation’s retail pharmacies, reminding them of their role in ensuring access to reproductive health care services under federal civil rights laws.
Under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), 42 U.S.C. 18116, recipients of federal financial assistance cannot exclude an individual from participation in, denying them the benefits of, or otherwise subjecting them to discrimination based on sex and other bases (i.e., race, color, national origin, age, and disability) in their programs and activities. Under federal civil rights law, pregnancy discrimination includes discrimination based on current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
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On June 24, the 2022 Supreme Court reversed the 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade, which said that states can’t ban abortion if a fetus could not survive outside the womb.
Minutes later, Missouri’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt, signed the state’s “trigger ban” law*.
Missouri now bans all abortions, unless the life or health of a pregnant person is in danger. The law targets abortion providers by making it a class B felony to induce an abortion. Clinics or health providers prosecuted under the law could also lose their medical licenses.
*What is a trigger law? A trigger law is a law that goes into effect when a specific event or condition occurs.
Missouri's trigger ban is not clear when it comes to these family planning measures. However, it seems that all of these remain available and legal in Missouri.
In a tweet at 5:35 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Missouri law does not ban birth control, even after Roe was overturned.
Additionally, the spokesperson for Missouri's Attorney General said: “Missouri law does not prohibit the use or provision of Plan B, or contraception."
Plan B — sometimes called the morning-after pill or emergency contraception —isn’t immediately affected by the state’s trigger law.
It’s used after unprotected sex or if birth control fails. Plan B keeps a woman from releasing an egg, keeps an egg from being fertilized or keeps a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
Emergency contraception is still available at pharmacies in Missouri. You may have heard that Saint Luke’s Hospital group briefly stopped providing Plan B due to potential legal risk. The hospital system later reversed its decision.
On July 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued clarifying guidance on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). This reaffirmed that it protects providers when offering legally-mandated, life- or health-saving abortion services in emergency situations.
Emergency medical conditions involving pregnant patients may include, but are not limited to, ectopic pregnancy, complications of pregnancy loss, or emergent hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia with severe features.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, says no, states cannot forbid travel.
When he wrote the concurring opinion, he said that a state cannot stop its residents from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion because people have a constitutional right to interstate travel.
For the city of Kansas City, Missouri
On Thursday, June 30, 2022 the city council of Kanas City passed two resolutions:
City employees would be offered a new insurance enrollment period to change their healthcare plans to include this coverage. The resolution states that reimbursement funds will not come from taxpayer dollars or the city’s general fund. Mayor Quinton Lucas later stated coverage would provide $300 for travel expenses. The money will not cover the procedure itself.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt says he will sue Kansas City. Mayor Lucas’ response/statement: "We will proudly and unabashedly stand up for the rights of Missouri women and Missouri families in their healthcare decisions. Kansas City's lawful resolutions are but one step in doing so."
Northland Center2900 NE 60th St, Suite 100816-453-6000
Patty Brous Health Center of Kansas City1001 Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64110816-756-2277
Independence Health Center815 N Noland RoadIndependence, MO 64050816-252-3800
Clay County800 Haines Drive, Liberty, MO 64068816-413-0662 | Appointment Line: 816-474-4920
Northland5330 North Oak Trfy, Suite 203, Kansas City, MO 64118816-499-8100 | Appointment Line: 816-474-4920
Downtown825 Euclid Ave., Kansas City, MO 64124816-474-4920
Westside2121 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64108 816-471-0900 | Appointment Line: 816-474-4920
Midtown3515 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111Northeast4601 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO 64124Homeroom HealthServing infants, children, teens and young adults30th & Troost in The Wonder Shops & Flats1106 E. 30th St - Suite B, Kansas City, MO 64109
Research Medical Campus2340 E. Meyer Boulevard, (Bld 1) Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64132
Swope Health Maple WoodsNorthland Human Services Building3100 NE 83rd Street, Suite 1001, #140Kansas City, MO 64119816-321-3230Swope Health Northland2906 NW Vivion Road, Riverside, MO 64150816-599-5050
Swope Health Central3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64130816-923-5800Swope Health Hickman MillsLoma Vista Office Building8800 Blue Ridge Blvd., 2nd Fl., Kansas City, MO 64138816-321-3201Swope Health Belton204 E. North Ave., Belton, MO 64012816-599-5170Swope Health East17844 E. 23rd St, Independence, MO 64057816-599-5015Swope Health Independence11320 E. Truman Road, Independence, MO 64050816-599-5200Swope Health West4835 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102913-321-2200Swope Health Wyandotte21 N. 12th St., Suite 400, Kansas City, KS 66102 816-599-5111
2211 Charlotte St., Kansas City, MO 64108816-404-4966
501 N.W. Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64155
1532 NE 96th St, Suite B, Liberty, MO 64068 | Call: 816-415-9415 | Text: 816-866-3939
The two closest health clinics that provide abortion procedures are both in Overland Park, Kansas.
Planned Parenthood Clinic4401 W. 109th St., #100, Overland Park, KS 66211913-345-1400
Center for Women’s Health4840 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66211913-491-6878