Abortion Provider To Congress: The End Of Roe Is A Public Health Crisis

During a hearing addressing a post-Roe America, Judiciary Committee releases testimony from Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee released prepared testimony from Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, during today’s hearing entitled “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision.” McNicholas has 15 years of experience as an abortion provider and a specialist in Family Planning including academic practice, resident education, clinical research, and health care advocacy. Her testimony will focus on the abortion crisis, the challenges that her patients are facing since Dobbs, and the significant increase in patients that the Fairview Heights, Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic has experienced since the decision. She will also discuss the challenges of abortion providers having to consult lawyers before providing the emergency care that their patients need, in order to avoid risking jail time.

Key quotes as prepared:

“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.”

“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.”

“Not only is this agenda unpopular, it is deeply anti-life. We already know that abortion care is inextricably linked to maternal health outcomes. And in Missouri, Black maternal mortality is 4 times higher than for white women. Forcing people to continue pregnancies they either don’t want or can’t bear will cost lives… The anti-abortion agenda is anti-life and hypocrisy at its worst.”

“Those of us on the front lines don’t need more empty gestures. We need action and we need it now. We are out of time.”

Full text of Dr. Colleen McNicholas’s prepared remarks are available here 

Full hearing on the legal consequences of the Dobbs decision can be watched live here; on Twitter here; and on Facebook here.