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"I think it just shows how a lot of policymakers are out of touch with what the ordinary people want in their lives, and that we know that the majority of Missourians actually want policy makers to do more to increase access to sexual and reproductive health services and quit using family planning birth control contraception as a political football."

“When it comes to the safety net, we’re already at capacity and already have many holes,” Executive Director for the Missouri Family Health Council Michelle Trupiano said. “We don’t have enough resources to meet the demand across the state.”

“‘Defunding Title X will hinder critical access to family planning services at a time when reproductive healthcare is already in deep crisis,’ [Trupiano said.]”

“However, we know Opill will be cost-prohibitive for many,” Trupiano continued. “Which is why we need continued investment in safety net programs like the federal Title X family planning program to ensure equitable access to care for all.”

“I think this shows a disconnect from real people, their ordinary lives, and what they want, and what our lawmakers actually try to push forward," said Trupiano.

“We’re trying to do two things with this initiative: one is really to combat the misinformation around specifically emergency contraception and how it works, and that some folks still think that emergency contraception is illegal and then two, we want to get it into the hands of anyone who needs it so that they have it in their medicine cabinets in case of an emergency because this is a great backup method.”

“Patients are scared. They’re confused. They don’t know who to trust for accurate information,” Trupiano said. “Providers feel that they’re on very shaky ground, some even choosing to leave the state in order to fully practice without repercussions. And we’ve spent so much time combating that misinformation.”

“Patients are scared. They’re confused. They don’t know who to trust for accurate information. Providers feel they’re on very shaky ground,” said Michelle Trupiano, of the nonprofit Missouri Family Health Council.

It’s important to note that, while much of the Missouri public thinks birth control is illegal, most don’t want it to be. The same survey found that 84% of respondents, including 82% of Republicans, support access to birth control, and 72%, including 75% of Republicans, think the state should help make it more affordable.

"We knew that there is a deep confusion and misconceptions and misinformation around specifically emergency contraception," said Michelle Trupiano, Executive Director of Missouri Family Health Council.

Michelle Trupiano, the council’s executive director, blames the confusion over birth control on the fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling a year ago that removed the federally protected right to an abortion, setting off a wave of states banning or greatly restricting access to the procedure.

“Here in Missouri, we have seen different attempts to classify certain methods of contraception as an abortifacient and ban them from our Medicaid program," Trupiano said. "And that is just the beginning.”

“Really since the Dobbs ruling last summer,” Trupiano said in an interview with The Independent, “we realized that it was more important to combat misinformation and stigma about and to improve access to emergency contraception.”

“Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy,” Trupiano said. “It does not terminate a pregnancy. It is not medication abortion. All forms of contraception remain legal in Missouri.”

“We believe the need is too great to risk the federal approval for Missourians who need this care and coverage now,” Mandy Hagseth added.

“Insurance coverage is not the silver bullet to solve the maternal health crisis,” [Michelle Trupiano] said. “The system is broken, and it starts with institutional racism in terms of how Black and brown people are not being listened to when they are accessing health care. And so we need to come at it with multipronged solutions in order to really be able to achieve the outcomes.”

“We are very disappointed that once again, political ideology by a few members of the Senate is standing in the way of making that bipartisan, full support for postpartum folks happen,” Michelle Trupiano said.

For Michelle Trupiano, an advocate for legal, safe reproductive health care, Friday began with a promising roundtable discussion on how to bolster abortion access in Missouri, a state with just one clinic. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Rep. Cori Bush were among the high-profile figures attending.

“I’m feeling dismayed that it’s 2022 and this is where we’re at,” Michelle Trupiano, executive director of the Missouri Family Health Council, said after the decision was released. “And I am scared for all of the people today and yet to come that all of a sudden don’t know what they’re going to do.”

“The attacks are relentless — any little angle they can chip away at what we do, they are doing it,” said Lisa Ecsi Davis, the clinic’s director of operations, who has worked at Tri-Rivers for 30 years. “It’s exhausting.”

"The state Senate chose to pass [legislation] that removed dangerous language equating birth control to abortion and limiting safety-net providers," said Michelle Trupiano, executive director of Missouri Family Health Council, Inc. "This is a win for science."

"As Executive Director of the Missouri Family Health Council, which helps to provide low- and no-cost reproductive health care across the state, Michelle Trupiano is used to navigating a challenging political environment. 'I’m from Missouri, I work in Missouri, and Missouri’s a conservative state where our providers, in general, are used to an onslaught of attacks on reproductive health,' she said."

Family planning officials in states with anti-choice restrictions see the new Title X rules as yet another barrier to health care for people with low incomes…

Family planning clinics that take Title X funding are banned from referring patients for abortions…

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