Missouri tragically exemplifies the dangers of what happens when a slow but persistent effort to chip away at reproductive autonomy succeeds. Our current reality should be a lesson to others. We are fighting an abortion ban, universally felt to be one of the most restrictive bans across the United States. We are simultaneously defending the license of Missouri’s last abortion-providing clinic from regulatory attacks. And we are navigating illegal attempts by the legislature to deny payment for services rendered. We are helping Missourians understand the impact of a federal policy specifically designed to attack our nation’s only safety net program providing well people care and contraception. We have not arrived at this point by chance. In this hour we will discuss that evolution, where we are now, and what we do next.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas completed medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and completed her residency and family planning fellow-ship at Washington University School of Medicine where she later served as faculty for six years. She currently holds the position of chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. She provides gynecology, family planning, abortion, LGBTQIA care, and abortion services across the Midwest including MO, OK, and KS. Dr. McNicholas is also a clinical researcher focused on non-traditional provision of Long Acting Reversible Contraception. Lastly, she spends a great deal of time on reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy, centering patients experiences and needs in the conversation of health care policy.