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Dr. Colleen McNicholas to U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: Those of us on the front lines don’t need more empty gestures. We need action and we need it now.

WASHINGTON — Today, Dr. Colleen P. McNicholas, the Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri in St. Louis, MO, testified during a Senate Judiciary Hearing about the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade and eliminate the federal constitutional right to abortion.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released the following statement following the hearing:

“We are proud to have medical professionals like Dr. McNicholas at Planned Parenthood health centers who continue to advocate for patients and the need to protect abortion access across the country. In today’s hearing, Dr. McNicholas spoke directly about what the Supreme Court’s decision means for her community in St. Louis, her state and neighboring states like Illinois, and the severe impact it’s already had on access to abortion across the country. She centered patients, uplifted the people most impacted, and called on Congress and the Biden administration to act. We thank Chairman Durbin for holding this important hearing, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton and UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Khiara M. Bridges for testifying, and Dr. McNicholas for her dedication to her patients and fighting for abortion rights.”

Excerpts from Dr. McNicholas’ opening statement from the hearing:

"When SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, they effectively created two nations — one where those whose reproductive freedom belongs to themselves and those whose reproductive freedom belongs to a small group of politicians."

"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."

"The Supreme Court’s decision has already pushed people — the people each one of you represent — into extreme, and sometimes, dangerous circumstances in order to access one of the safest and most common health care procedures."

"Forcing people to continue pregnancies they either don’t want...will cost lives. Forcing people into parenting without passing policies that address child care costs, paid family leave, or the formula shortage will cost lives."

“The anti-abortion agenda is anti-life and hypocrisy at its worst."

"Senators, I come before you tired, frustrated, and angry. Those of us on the front lines don’t need more empty gestures. We need action and we need it now."

"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 has cared for patients who have traveled as far as 1,000 miles one-way."


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S. 


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