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FOR RELEASE: February 28, 2020
Contacts: Romana Mrzljak, [email protected], 314.489.3179
Alison Dreith, [email protected], 618.910.3245
Allison Reilly, [email protected], 314.531.7526 ext 336

Amidst federal and state attacks on abortion access, St. Louis Board of Aldermen celebrates the compassionate and dedicated work of local abortion care providers 

ST. LOUIS – Today, the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen recognized March 10, 2020 as Abortion Provider Appreciation Day, a day dedicated to highlighting the work of local abortion providers as abortion stigma persists and political and cultural attacks escalate. The resolution names Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region with locations in the City of St. Louis and in Fairview Heights, Illinois and Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, as regional clinics providing abortion care to Missourians. 

Abortion Provider Appreciation Day first began in 1996 to honor the life of Dr. David Gunn, an abortion provider who was killed by an anti-abortion white supremacist extremist on March 10,1993. In Missouri we celebrate the life of regional provider Dr. George Tiller who was murdered in his church on May 31, 2009 in Wichita, Kansas. Since then, the day has grown to include acts of kindness and celebration of providers by local, state, and national advocates in communities and online using the hashtag #CelebrateAbortionProviders. 

In an effort to eliminate abortion access across the state, anti-choice Missouri lawmakers have spent the last decade imposing arbitrary and medically unnecessary regulations on abortion providers. Their ultimate goal is to shut down clinics, and make it more difficult for abortion providers to provide Missourians with the abortion care they need and deserve. With their resolution, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen honors local abortion care providers who continue to provide compassionate, dedicated, and patient-centered care to communities across the St. Louis region.

Christine Ingrassia, St. Louis City Alderwoman, Ward 6

“I am proud to celebrate our local abortion providers and clinic staff who help ensure that all women, trans men, and other people who can become pregnant can make their own decisions about their bodies and their pregnancies, and support their patients’ decisions by treating them with dignity, compassion, and respect.” 

Mallory Schwarz, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri 

“Abortion providers and the clinic staff who support them are a critical part of St. Louis City’s health care, providing dignified and compassionate health care to both community members and those who travel here for care. These providers put their lives on the line and suffer harassment on a daily basis in order to show up for the people who rely on them. Thank you to St. Louis City Board of Aldermen for celebrating abortion providers, and showing that St. Louis stands with our local abortion providers and the community who depends on their care.”

Dr. Margaret Baum, physician, Hope Clinic for Women 

“Through all the challenges I face as an abortion provider, I never lose sight of what my work is really about — supporting my patients’ right to live and thrive on their own terms. Thank you to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for recognizing this day and the care we provide.”

Yamelsie Rodriguez, President and CEO, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region 

“Abortion providers and staff do extraordinary work to ensure that all people can make their own decisions around their bodies and their pregnancies and have access to safe, high-quality, compassionate care. At Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, we are proud to provide safe, legal abortion services, along with the information and health care patients need. We thank the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for honoring and recognizing the abortion providers in our region through this Resolution. Abortion providers are compassionate, caring, skilled medical professionals who believe in the health, well-being, and dignity of the patients they see every day.” 

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, Chief Medical Officer, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region

“I am immensely grateful to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for honoring the memory of Dr. David Gunn whose commitment to safe abortion made him a target for anti-choice extremists. Abortion provision takes a team, and the entire Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region family is proud of the work it does to provide and protect access. We are lucky to be part of such a supportive community and appreciate the work of abortion providers across the globe, but especially our regional partners at Hope Clinic for Women.”

Andrea Miller, President, National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH)

“Cities and municipalities have a real opportunity to advance reproductive freedom for their residents and to mitigate a hostile climate created by state and federal governments. The majority of the public supports abortion access, and cities can reflect this value by honoring the critical work of abortion providers. NIRH wholeheartedly supports the work of legislators and advocates in advancing policies at the local level that advance access to high-quality, affordable, supportive abortion care without shame, pressure, or punishment.” 

 Michele Ko, Policy Analyst, Abortion Care Network (ACN)

"As the national membership organization for independent abortion clinics and their allies, Abortion Care Network is deeply committed to centering the integral role abortion care providers play in their communities, and we celebrate the compassionate care they provide every day. We are grateful for the support and partnership of local advocates, legislators, and providers in their efforts to honor the courageous and dedicated abortion providers in their city."

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NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Missouri, and we believe that every person who can get pregnant should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri works to protect the right of every person who can get pregnant to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Hope Clinic for Women’s mission is to provide the highest quality medical and emotional care, with dignity and compassion. We are specialists in abortion care who have been serving the St. Louis region since 1974. Located in Granite City, IL, we are just 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, MO. 

Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region provides options counseling, pregnancy testing, abortion care and other reproductive services for thousands of people in Missouri, Illinois and across the region each year. Our highly-trained physicians and medical staff provide expert care in a supportive setting, no matter what. Patients can make an appointment online at www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center, or by phone at 314-531-7526.