Message from SSWLHC Leadership
As many of you are aware, Missouri has recently been embroiled in the national debate surrounding access to abortion services. Currently, the state is poised to close the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region’s abortion clinic, potentially making Missouri the first state since the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to not provide access to legally sanctioned, safe abortion. Court challenges to this decision are underway and some in the State’s legislature are fighting to lessen recent restrictions. We recognize that many of our members support reproductive rights and do not support the restrictive measures taken in Missouri to curtail access to abortion.
The SSWLHC annual meeting and conference will be in Kansas City, MO in October. We realize that hosting an event in Missouri may be interpreted by some as supporting the current state policies limiting reproductive rights; however, we also appreciate that there is diversity of opinion represented in our membership and as an organization we endeavor to represent all voices. Planning for a national conference begins 2-3 years prior the actual conference and it is often challenging to anticipate political issues that may arise, sometimes very quickly, in locations being considered. Any decision to cancel a meeting at this point in time would incur significant financial loss and disruption to our organization as well as impede our talented group of presenters from sharing their knowledge and best practices broadly.
We do want to encourage conference attendance and ask that you use your time in Missouri to communicate your views on reproductive health rights. We are open to all suggestions and want to provide a space for our conference attendees to organize for that response. In the next few weeks we will let you know what kinds of activities are being suggested and how SSWLHC can assist in providing conference attendees the opportunity to be heard on the important issue of reproductive rights. Please forward your ideas directly to our managing agent, Kyle Fernley.
We hope to see you in October at the conference and we look forward to receiving your feedback.
Thomas Sedgwick, President SSWLHC
Heather Brungardt, President-Elect, SSWLHC