NIRH Denounces St. Louis Board of Aldermen for Failure to Pass “Buffer Zone Bill” for City’s Only Abortion Clinic

April 16, 2018
NIRH Contact: Stephanie Reichin | M: 617.549.3745 | E: [email protected]

Despite setback, advocates’ focus on local-level advances in reproductive freedom will intensify

St. Louis, MO – Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and NIRH Action Fund, released the following statement today decrying St. Louis’ failure to pass Board Bill 34, “The Buffer Zone Bill.” The ordinance, which failed by a vote of 15-9, would protect women accessing abortion care by creating an eight-foot buffer zone around St. Louis’ only abortion clinic. Studies show that efforts to disrupt services at abortion clinics have proliferated over the last 10 years, with more than 200,000 reported acts of intimidation or violence, including arson, obstruction, and burglary among others.

“The St. Louis Board of Aldermen failed St. Louis residents and people across Missouri who access abortion care at the St. Louis clinic today,” said Andrea Miller, president of NIRH and NIRH Action Fund. “Without Board Bill 34 and its protective eight-foot buffer zone, abortion providers and patients will continue to face violence and intimidation while they provide and seek quality health care. I commend Alderwoman Ingrassia and the brave advocates and activists who fought so valiantly to push forward this legislation. In the months ahead NIRH will continue to support efforts to keep patients and providers safe in St. Louis.”

NIRH has partnered with NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri for the last two years to pass local level policy that expands reproductive freedom. Last year, with the support of NIRH, St. Louis became one of the first cities in the country to pass a Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Ordinance.

“Last year’s success showed that even in the most anti-choice states, our cities are capable of great change, and local level advocacy can improve the lives and health of city residents,” Miller said. “NIRH will continue to support NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri’s efforts to advance reproductive freedom by working on the municipal level in cities across Missouri — and we’re committed to doing the same with advocates in cities across the country.”

St. Louis originally earned a two out of a possible five stars in NIRH’s 2017 Local Reproductive Freedom Index. NIRH will re-evaluate the reproductive health, rights and justice policies of the most populous U.S. cities in order to reflect improvements that cities make during that time.

About the National Institute for Reproductive Health

The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.