Petition to MO Dem Party Re Reproductive Rights Candidates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – AUGUST 17, 2017

PETITION TO MISSOURI DEMOCRATIC PARTY DEMANDING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS CANDIDATES

(St. Louis, MO) – Today ProgressWomen is delivering a petition to Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Stephen Webber demanding that he only recruit legislative candidates who will advocate for constitutionally protected reproductive rights.

After several public statements from the MDP Chair and national Democratic leaders regarding recruitment and support of “pro-life candidates”, Democrats from all corners of the state, women AND men in 146 zip codes in numerous counties, are insistent that reproductive justice remain a hallmark issue in recruitment of future candidates and the MDP state party platform.

We remind MDP Chair Webber that in the last century, strides by women academically, in the workforce and in government is due to reproductive freedom – deciding if, when and how to raise a family, no matter what kind or color of family we are. Women having autonomy over their own body is not just a moral, religious or social issue but a basic human right.

Most significantly after the extreme 48 day Extraordinary Special session on abortion called by Governor Greitens, the protection of reproductive rights for all women in Missouri is vital. The GOP-controlled legislature spent over $20,000 a day to attack the St. Louis City reproductive anti-discrimination ordination and advance new unconstitutional restrictions on Missouri physicians and hospitals re SB5. Besides the expected costly state litigation to defend the new law, the consequences will be drastic and punitive of women living in rural, suburban and urban areas.

Several House Democrats voted with the GOP majority in advancing SB5 as they do in regular sessions, siding with the anti-medicine, anti-science, anti-women lobby. Recruiting even more Democrats to vote against women’s legal access to reproductive care and interfering with established medical practice is plain wrong.

Access to abortion and the whole gamut of reproductive healthcare is an issue of economic justice, racial justice and human rights. Every woman’s choice when and if to have children is not a decision which belongs to anyone else, particularly legislators.

Recruiting “pro-life” candidates who ,when elected, will legislate their personal morality and vote against repeated U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the medical community and particularly women’s access to basic healthcare in every part of the Missouri is unacceptable.

Reproductive justice cannot and must not be bartered for in exchange for conservative candidates to be elected as Democrats.

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State Rep. Stacey Newman