ST. LOUIS – A senate hearing in Washington D.C. Tuesday morning focused on abortion and two people from the bistate will testified.

Dr. Colleen McNicholas
Dr. Colleen McNicholas

One of the people at the Senate hearing Tuesday morning works for St. Louis Planned Parenthood. The center has been a hot spot for demonstrations since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

The Senate Judiciary Committee included testimony from Dr. Colleen McNicholas and Julianna Stratton. McNicholas is the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood in the St. Louis region and southwest Missouri. Stratton is the lieutenant governor for Illinois.

The hearing is called “a post-Roe America: the legal consequences of the Dobbs decision.”

“Since ceasing abortion care at our health center in St. Louis, which was the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri, our health center in Illinois just across the Mississippi River has cared for patients who have traveled as far as 1,000 miles one way. Almost overnight, our Illinois clinic has seen appointments triple and that’s already on top of a double-booked schedule we were sustaining in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma’s abortion bans,” stated Dr. Colleen McNicholas.

“In Missouri and several other states, abortion is banned except in medical emergencies. In other words, in order for doctors to avoid prison time: Instead of treating a patient before their health becomes life-threatening, doctors now must contemplate how sick is sick enough before providing life-saving abortion care. People will suffer unnecessary harm as doctors wait for permission from hospital lawyers to tell them they can proceed,” stated Dr. Colleen McNicholas.

Dobbs is the case where the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending a woman’s federal right to an abortion. Abortions are now banned or severely restricted in multiple states including Missouri.

President Joe Biden said the order will safeguard access to abortion care and contraceptives, protect patient privacy and establish a task force to protect access to reproductive health care. Meanwhile, Democratic state lawmakers here in Missouri are asking Governor Mike Parson to call a special session to pass legislation that would safeguard contraception and medical treatment for ectopic pregnancies. Parson has already said he plans to call a special session to deal with tax cuts. The Democratic representatives want the abortion issue added to that agenda.