Missouri Republicans are once again attacking women’s health. The GOP controlled state Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would give pharmacies the option to refuse to stock drugs such as contraception. Pharmacies could also refuse to keep emergency contraception in stock. The Senate approved SB 126 by a vote of 24-9 and it now heads to the Missouri House where Republicans are also in control. If the bill were to become law, pharmacies across the state would be able to keep all forms of contraception off the shelves; meaning, even if a woman has a prescription from her doctor, a pharmacy could make the final decision regarding her health. For women who live in rural areas where pharmacies are few and far between, this legislation would force them to travel unnecessary distances to find a pharmacy willing to fill their prescriptions. Rape victims would be especially hit hard because pharmacies would be able to deny them emergency contraception. This is just the latest battle being waged by Missouri Republicans against contraception. Last month, a federal judge struck down a Missouri law exempting employers from providing contraception to their female employees. Missouri Republicans continued their war on women, introducing a bill designed to allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to provide reproductive services to women. Apparently the pharmacy bill is insurance for Republicans. If they can’t allow doctors to deny women birth control, they will give pharmacies the ability to do just that. These bills are sinister attacks on women’s health. Doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies should not be allowed to deny women contraception unless there is a valid medical reason for doing so. Women should always be allowed to make their own medical decisions with their doctors and it’s simply criminal that a politician would interfere in such decisions. It is especially criminal that a politician would interfere with women’s health decisions in an effort to deny rape victims the capability to prevent themselves from becoming pregnant. This war that Republicans are waging against women’s health needs to stop. If legislatures across the country were waging war against men’s health, the GOP would be enraged about it. They’d call it government intrusion and they would adamantly demand that government stay out of our personal lives. That’s what most of America would call hypocrisy. For some reason, Republicans believe it’s an invasion of privacy by “big government” when legislation affects men’s health, but when it comes to women, the GOP believes an invasion of privacy is perfectly fine. This war needs to end before women are forced by Republicans to be nothing more than reproductive slaves.
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