TO: Senator Bob Dixon, Chairman Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
CC: Senator Wayne Wallingford, Sponsor of SB 175
FROM: Pam Fichter, President
DATE: March 27, 2013
RE: SB 175
We want to thank you for hearing SB 175, the important legislation that is a pro-active step to protect women from “web-cam abortions.” The hearing for SB 175 was held on Monday evening, February 18, and we are still waiting for it to be voted out of your committee.
We are in a critical time to try to prevent the expansion of abortion clinics in the state of Missouri. We are asking for your vote to move SB 175 out of your committee and be reported in to the Senate in order to be placed on the Senate calendar. We know that time is running out of this session, and we would like SB 175 to have time for debate and passage.
As stated in the committee hearing, web-cam abortions are abortions done by a video conferencing system where the abortionist is located at one location and uses a closed circuit TV to talk with a woman who is at another location over a computer video screen. The abortionist is not present in the same room with the woman. Planned Parenthood’s "telemedicine" program is working to set up a video conferencing system at many of its smaller or more remote clinics.
Missouri has one operating abortion clinic which is in St. Louis. The Columbia abortion facility is not currently performing abortions because they have been unable to obtain an abortionist. The problem in finding abortionists puts Missouri in the sites of a “telemedicine abortion” program for Planned Parenthood. Sue Thayer, former Planned Parenthood Manager of the Storm Lake, Iowa abortion facility stated, “ when web-cam abortions were initiated in Iowa we went from 5 abortion clinics to approximately 17 abortion clinics.” We do not want that to happen in Missouri.
Women choosing dangerous chemical abortions need to be closely monitored and have medical help close at hand. When a woman is bleeding to death, a phone call isn't going to suffice. When she has retained tissue from an incomplete abortion, a video conference isn't going to do her any good. When she's suffering an allergic reaction to the medicine, she needs something more than computer screen counseling. She needs a doctor who will be there, who will take responsibility for her case, who will personally ensure that she gets the care that she needs. A woman gets none of that with a doctor on closed circuit TV.
Eight states have enacted web-cam abortion bans, and they have not been challenged. Missouri should be the next leader in this pro-active step to ban web-cam abortions. Missouri has a long history of passing pro-life legislation that gives clear protection to a woman and her unborn child. Missouri Right to Life, speaking for pro-life Missourians, urges you to move SB 175 to the Senate Calendar.