Speaker: Colleen McNicholas, DO
Dr. McNicholas will share her insider’s view of what is happening to the provision of abortion care in Missouri. Many who are not following the issue closely believe that the passage of Roe v Wade in 1973 ensures a woman’s right to receive an abortion. Since then, however, there have been over 1,000 anti-abortion bills enacted at the state level that restrict that right. Missouri has among the most stringent laws limiting abortion care. These restrictions, introduced and enacted under the guise of protecting women’s health, make it nearly impossible for many women seeking care to receive it. Limitations on the provision of care include a 72-hour waiting period, the requirement to travel to to see the same physician two or three different times, how plans for very rare emergencies are handled, how clinics are constructed, how pathology is handled, how closely protesters can interact with patients, etc.
In addition to traveling to several different clinics in Missouri and other states to provide abortion care, Dr. McNicholas has repeatedly testified in Jefferson City and been part of lawsuits to relieve these burdens on women. She will provide an update on what is going on now for Missouri women.
Dr. McNicholas completed medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her OB/GYN residency and Family Planning Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine. She is Board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is on faculty in the division of Family Planning at Washington University. Her clinical work includes general gynecology and family planning. Dr. McNicholas provides abortion services in a variety of geographic locations as well as practice settings including an academic practice, Planned Parenthood, and independent clinics. Geographically, her clinical work covers the state of Missouri, as well as Wichita, KS and Oklahoma City, OK. In addition to clinical family planning, Dr. McNicholas is also a clinical researcher and her research is focused on non-traditional provision of LARC (long-acting reversible contraception). Lastly, she spends a great deal of time on reproductive health advocacy, traveling to Jefferson City, Missouri’s Capital, and Washington, DC to address the increasing incidence of legislative interference into the practice of medicine.