To The Editor:
As a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, I thank Gov. Nixon for vetoing a law passed this legislative session (HB 1307/1313) that would have tripled the time Missouri women must wait before an abortion.
As a physician who cares for these women, I can tell you unnecessary delays such as this do nothing to improve their health. I have spoken with health care professionals from all over the state who agree that politicians should get out of our consultation and exam rooms and allow medical professionals to do their jobs.
Regardless of my colleagues’ political persuasions, Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike wonder why the state Legislature is spending so much time taking us backward when it comes to women’s health rather than focusing on improving Missouri’s economy and increasing jobs. If the Legislature wanted to make a positive difference in the health of all Missourians while improving the economy and increasing jobs in the state, it would vote to expand Medicaid.
Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-District 139) filed the bill in the name of protecting women… from themselves. He said: “Women need more time to fully consider their decision.” As someone who has devoted his career to taking care of women and promoting the health of my patients, communities and our state, I can assure you this bill isn’t about protecting women, it’s about making it as hard as possible for women to access abortion.
Gov. Nixon understands Missouri physicians are caring, compassionate, well-trained professionals who do not need interference from state legislators looking to score political points. I appreciate Gov. Nixon standing up for women and health care providers. It’s time for our representatives in the Missouri Legislature to listen and do what is right for Missouri women by letting this veto stand.