The History and Epidemiology of Abortion at University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

By Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman – August 12, 2017

After a nonstop morning shadowing Dr. Colleen McNicholas who saw 9 abortion patients before 11:30am, we were driven to the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

But first we had to pass the contingent of protestors outside the clinic who come often around lunchtime.

For the next 1.5 hours I sat in on Colleen’s lecture to the OB-GYN residents on “The History and Epidemiology of Abortion”, under the direction of Lisa Landrum, MD, PhD in Gynecology Oncology. While the residents ate a non-glamorous lunch of pizza, Colleen (no chance to eat herself) covered the worldwide history of abortion from the days of Plato 1150 B.C. to the present.

We learned that prior to the U.S. Constitution, abortion was legal, widely advertised and performed before “quickening” (when fetus’s were first felt to move in utero). The stringent religious influence was felt soon enough as laws appeared in the early 1800’s criminalizing the circulation of contraceptives which were considered for “immoral use”. However by the late 1800’s our country experienced a profound demographic change — including the proliferation of suffragettes eventually resulting in the 19th constitutional amendment and the work of Margaret Sanger promoting birth control for which women desperately begged.

As medical science became more perfected and exploded with technical and pharmaceutical advances, so did cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Women’s lives changed dramatically as was evident by the majority number of women in this OU OB/GYN residency class.

I was fascinated by the questions asked of Colleen afterwards, including the safety precautions in daily life that abortion providers, particularly those in red states must make.

And then we immediately headed back to the clinic where patients were waiting.

No time for lunch.

Abandon women and physicians on abortion rights?

by Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman – August 12, 2017

I learned this was published this morning as I was in my 3rd examination room with a woman having her pre-surgical exam for a very wanted pregnancy gone horribly wrong.

Am even more resolved.

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Democrats must not abandon women and physicians on abortion rights

St. Louis American Op-Ed by Rep. Stacey Newman – August 12, 2017

I have spent every ounce of energy and every brain cell I could muster these past two months on protecting reproductive justice during the Governor’s Extraordinary Special Session on Abortion.  As the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, I worked round the clock with physicians, religious leaders, attorneys with constitutional and health care expertise and, most importantly, women from all corners of the state.

Even though I’ve had a pregnancy, I learned way more than I never knew I would need about development of zygotes and embryos, routine miscarriage procedures, standard medical practice of pregnancy complications with fetal abnormalities and infertility practices. My binders of legislative research look like medical textbooks even though I am not an OB/GYN nor is anyone else in the legislature or governor’s office.

Abortion care includes long standard treatment after a miscarriage (D & C’s and D & E’s), severe fetal abnormalities in very much wanted pregnancies, complications involving a deceased fetus, rape and incest cases and other numerous reasons that are bound by HIPPA regulations. Up to 25 percent of pregnancies result in miscarriage, one in three women have had an abortion, and seven in 10 people believe abortion must remain constitutionally protected. Women of all ages and faiths, including Republicans who have confided in me and even abortion protestors, have had an abortion for reasons that are none of our business.

Abortion care is constitutionally protected, even more so with the landmark 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision which states abortion regulations must actually outweigh the undue burden it places on access.

As the legislature spent over $20,000 per day for 48 days to attack St. Louis city’s reproductive anti-discrimination ordinance and advance new unconstitutional restrictions on abortion providers through SB5, I understand in full the real life consequences of the bill on women and physicians living in every county of the state.

Not one credible respected medical organization or entity supported SB5, so you might think it would be a slam dunk that every Democrat would be in opposition. However, just like in regular sessions, the “pro-life” Democrats routinely side with the anti-science, anti-medical, anti-reproductive rights lobby – even though women, particularly those of color and in rural neighborhoods, will lose access to basic healthcare and physicians standards of protocol will be jeopardized.

So you can imagine my blood pressure when I heard my state party chair along with national Democratic leaders say they are a-ok with recruiting and financial supporting additional “pro-life” candidates. Since when did it become acceptable for Democrats on a policy level to throw women’s access to basic healthcare under the bus and interfere with medical practice?

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.

I was just one of the millions of women who were the majority of January’s Women’s March in Washington D.C.  and in tons of other cities, including in Missouri.  Reproductive freedom, including access to abortion, was a huge tenet of the protest and remains at the forefront of the congressional fight targeting healthcare.  Reproductive justice remains a strong issue on Election Day for millions of women, as reflected by the continual 20-point gender spread by women, most dependably women of color, voting Democrat.

Plenty of faith leaders from diverse denominations endorse reproductive rights, including Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation and Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon of Christ the King United Church of Christ.  They recently published a video with other leaders, “What it Means to Be Pro-Life Missouri” exposing the “pro-life” hypocrisy of the legislature and in opposition of SB5. Rabbi Jonah Zinn of Shaare Emeth Congregation in St. Louis was one of the most ardent testifying against SB5 in June.

With our long historical struggle for full voting rights, racial and LGBT equality, to throw women up as a political tool to recruit conservative candidates is abhorrent. Would these leaders consider racist candidates?  Those opposed to equality or any other human right? Yet, those “pro-life” conservative electeds already in office also tend to vote for bills which target minorities, loosen gun laws, rob federal TANF funds and give millions in state funds to unregulated fake pregnancy centers.

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.

Having autonomy over our own body is not a moral, religious or social issue but a basic human right.

http://www.stlamerican.com/news/columnists/guest_columnists/democrats-must-not-abandon-women-and-physicians-on-abortion-rights/article_1bd77408-7d75-11e7-96ec-47b0321371d7.html

My First 4 Hours at the Trust Women Clinic, Oklahoma City

By Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman – August 11, 2017

With Dr. Colleen McNicholas arriving near midnight in Oklahoma City.

Last night near midnight, my friend Dr. Colleen McNicholas and I landed in Oklahoma City where I will be her shadow for several days at the Trust Women Clinic. As a Missouri legislator who champions reproductive rights, I need to experience her real world of abortion care.
The Trust Women Clinic is one of only four abortion clinics in the entire state of Oklahoma and is dependent on 5 out of state physicians who regularly travel here to be the revolving abortion provider.
 
Colleen, as a physician and educator at Washington University in St. Louis, spends an enormous amount of time in reproductive healthcare advocacy, teaching residents how to speak up and testifies in the Capitol every chance she can. On top of that, she also travels to Oklahoma City and Wichita about every 5-6 weeks to provide abortion care to women who have very little options.
 
I have never done this before.
 
Already by Noon today, I have observed 7 patient-doctor consultations, one surgical pre-op for a 2 day procedure and witnessed a surgical abortion for a 16 week pregnancy.
 
Very wanted pregnancies with fetal abnormalities and birth control methods which failed.
 
The real world is nothing like anti-abortion legislators say it is.

My Journey to a New Place

Headed out tonight on a long planned journey that I know will change me dramatically. Reflecting as I have a small space of quiet around me at the gate of my 10pm flight. I want to remember how I feel right now and the experiences in life which have led me to this point.

I will be sharing this journey with you all and documenting every step as much as I can. I really don’t know what to expect but I anticipate it will be very emotional. Please come along with me. I hope you will learn as much as I know I will.

Reproductive Freedom in Missouri in Danger!

Are you as mad as me?  Your blood pressure in the danger zone?

Seems to be a trend around the country AND in Missouri.

Democratic Party Leaders are seriously considering recruiting & financially supporting pro-life candidates. Every day another piece pops up in national media blasting the Democrats for even considering Throwing Women Under the Bus.

This New York Times op-ed is the best piece I’ve read this week: “Of Course Abortion Should Be a Litmus Test for Democrats” 

Read the entire op-ed HERE but the part that grabbed me:

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1.  Join me at the “Women’s Rights: 40 Years in the Making”- Saturday, September 9th in Sedalia.

    10am to 2pm, Liberty Park, 1500 West 3rd Street, Sedalia

“Please join a united meeting of the Rural, Women’s, and Progressive caucuses of the Democratic party of Missouri to engage in an open and constructive conversation on Women’s Rights, Women’s Healthcare, and Human Rights forty years in the making.

The goal of this meeting will be to address recent announcements by both local and national party leaders on the inclusion of “pro-life” candidates and what that means for Democrats moving forward. Speakers will talk about issues that divide urban and rural candidates, what it means to be “REAL Pro-Life”, and other topics facing democrats in our state legislature as more and more restrictions are being placed on women’s access to reliable and quality healthcare. All are welcome to attend.” RSVP HERE

2.  Fill out a Platform Survey for the Missouri Democratic Party – let committee people know exactly what you think.  I just did.

SURVEY HERE.

3.  Let the Missouri Democratic Party Chair know exactly what YOU THINK about recruiting pro-life candidates.

Over 550 Missourians have signed the petition to Stephen Webber, Missouri Democrati Party Chair which we are delivering next week.

SIGN OUR PETITION TO MDP CHAIR WEBBER HERE.

Preorder Hillary’s”What Happened” Book & Event – September 12th

SAVE THE DATE —-TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12th @ LEFT BANK BOOKS IN ST. LOUIS

 Hillary Clinton’s long awaited book where she tells all —will be released to the public for the first time on September 12th for all of us political junkies, hacks and those who just want to know what really happened.

Pre-order your very own book from our St. Louis very favorite       independent book seller, Left Bank Books HERE.

I just did because I’m like that.

(Can’t make it? Shipping to you is only 99 cents.  Beat that, Amazon)

And there’s more…

Pick up your book at Left Bank Books Tuesday September 12th AND stay for an exciting event with powerful Missouri Women who are Resisting, Persisting, Insisting.

LET’S TALK ABOUT “WHAT HAPPENED” 

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 @ 7pm – 9pm

Left Bank Books –  399 North Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, 63108

Women Resistance Panel with Rep. Stacey Newman & others to be announced soon

Pick up your reserved book (or take your chances and purchase that evening)

Refreshments & Lots of Political Conversations/Camaraderie You Wont’ Want to Miss

Parking: Lots one block north and one block east; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions & public transportation information, click here.

Missouri Democratic Party Throwing Women Under the Bus – TAKE ACTION

Exactly when did it become OK to use women’s private reproductive decisions as a tool in the Missouri Democratic Party?

 

“If Democrats interested in running for office are pro-life, Missouri Democratic Party chairman Stephen Webber says, so be it. He tells Missourinet candidate recruitment is one of his top priorities.  “We’re looking for candidates that will work hard and are willing to communicate their deeply held convictions,” says Webber.” ~~~Missourinet, July 24, 2017

WE ARE HOPPING MAD AND NOT GOING TO STAND SILENTLY BY.

SIGN OUR PETITION TO MDP CHAIR WEBBER HERE.

Has he not paid attention to the insane number of anti-reproductive bills the Missouri GOP file each year? Does he (a former state representative) truly think it’s okay for Democrats to assist the anti-women GOP agenda by ALSO inserting themselves in OB-GYN offices and interfering with medical policy & ethics?

What’s next on his list to torpedo?  Equality Rights?  Racial Justice?  Immigrants?

Perhaps he doesn’t know that 1 in 3 women will have a legally protected abortion in their lifetime —for numerous reasons including post-miscarriage, wanted pregnancies gone horribly wrong and personal reasons that are frankly none of anyone’s business. Perhaps he is unaware of how punitive AND unconstitutional many of these anti-abortion bills actually are.

SIGN OUR PETITION HERE which we will deliver to MDP Chair Webber.  Let him know you will not support the Missouri Democratic party as long as women and trusted physicians are treated so despicably.