NARAL Missouri joined this effort dressed as Handmaids, taking a page from Margaret Atwood’s classic “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This action follows a nationwide trend started by NARAL members to protest attacks on women's healthcare.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - MOmentum: Missouri Moving Forward and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, as well as a coalition of other St. Louis-based resistance groups, held a rally and “die in” outside Busch Stadium, just prior to the Cardinals’ game today; the goal of the protest was to dramatize the potential negative effects that the GOP health care bill will have on ordinary Missourians. Shortly after 12:15 PM, hundreds of protestors holding signs in the shape of tombstones, laid on the ground for about 30 minutes.

Opponents of the GOP plan have argued that the current Senate bill is more a “wealthcare” bill, masquerading as a health care bill: it provides tax cuts to the wealthy while stripping ordinary Americans of adequate medical care and Medicaid protections. Today, demonstrators handed out fliers detailing the effects of the GOP bill and urging Missourians to contact Senator Roy Blunt to oppose the GOP bill.

Activist Mahina Nightsage gave her reasons for participating, “Average Americans should not lose access to health care just to give the wealthiest Americans a tax break. Without access to health care, there is no opportunity for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; the GOP health care bill is an assault on America’s core values”.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP-sponsored health care bill would deprive 22 million Americans of health care coverage in the next 10 years, and even more thereafter. Cuts in Medicaid would place children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities at high risk of losing health care coverage. Nursing home residents would risk eviction when Medicaid no longer pays for their care. An estimated 10,600 Missouri Veterans on Medicaid would lose access to health care.

Women’s health could be jeopardized because states would decide whether to include pregnancy and maternity care in basic coverage. Low-income women would lose access to health care, family planning, and birth control at Planned Parenthood, which would be defunded by this bill.

Kirstin Palovick, Organizing and Policy Associate with NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri stated, “We should be working on legislation that supports women and families across the nation. Instead, the proposed GOP bill is an ideological attack on women and families, inhibiting them from accessing the care that they need to thrive.”

Rural Missouri is likely to suffer the most from the closing of hospitals and the flight of medical professionals. Employment in the health care field would also shrink.

At a time when substance abuse and mental health problems are reaching epidemic proportions, the proposed bill would make it more difficult, or impossible, for persons to obtain adequate and sustained treatment for these conditions.

Protestor Zuleyma Tang-Martinez stated, “This bill will not make America first; it will make America last among developed nations as far as health care is concerned”.



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