Economic Security to Testify on Proposed Renewal of Women’s Health Services Program
The Economic Security Corporation is urging the State of Missouri to renew a program that provides health services to women.
The ESC will send a representative to testify Friday before the Department of Social Service public hearing on The Women ‘ s Health Services Program in Jefferson City
Opal Jackson just started getting depo provera birth control shots at the Economic Security clinic in Neosho. She gets the shots through the Medicaid program now up for renewal at the state level. She said she would be at risk if it is not funded.
Jackson said, “So, if I didn ‘ t have my depo or anything, I could have gotten an unintended pregnancy not even knowing. Or, like to get like tested for stds just in case. If you don ‘ t go to anyone regularly, like a family doctor, then you probably won ‘ t know if you have anything wrong with you.”
ESC Nurse Practitioner Donna White said Jackson is not alone. Economic security clinics serve eight to nine hundred women each year. The program helps one hundred thousand statewide in Missouri.
White said, “A lot of times, whenever women come here for their health care, this is the only care they receive the entire year.”
It ‘ s not just simply about pregnancy prevention. Economic security health clinics have helped diagnose three cancer patients in last nine months who are now getting lifesaving treatment.
White said, “We’ve had two women that were diagnosed with advanced stage cervical cancer and have had to have hysterectomies and stuff. They would have put off those services. We saved their life because we caught it early.”
The program used to be ninety percent federally funded but Missouri lawmakers voted against taking that money in 2016 to defund abortion services. And now it ‘ s up to the state to cover the program ‘ s costs.
Economic Security will testify to the need for the program at a public hearing this Friday. And explain what would happen to uninsured women ‘ s health care without it. White supposed, “They probably wouldn ‘ t get services. They’d put it off.”
The Missouri Department of social services public hearing is tomorrow from nine to eleven in Jefferson City.
It does take verbal and written comments even via e-mail.
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