The politics surrounding Planned Parenthood have reached a fever pitch.
The Missouri state health director, Dr. Randall Williamsóa pro-birth Republican, testified that he ordered the state‚Äôs main inspector to keep a spreadsheet of the menstruation cycles of the women who visited Planned Parenthood so he could ‚Äúattempt to keep a record of patients who‚Äôd undergone failed abortions.‚ÄĚ
Rachel Maddow has come forward to spread the news and to comment on the exact levels of corruption and lines this action have crossed.
Hello Missouri.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 29, 2019
Turns out your state health director has been personally tracking the menstrual periods of Missouri women, on a spreadsheet.
This is how your state govt is "regulating" the last abortion provider in MO -- while trying to shut it down.https://t.co/RfnvStXyeR
‚ÄúWilliams said the spreadsheet was made at his request by the state¬ís main investigator‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThe spreadsheet was attached to an e-mail with the subject line ‚ÄėDirector¬ís Request,‚Äô‚Ä¶https://t.co/RfnvStXyeR
¬ó Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 29, 2019
‚ÄúWilliams drew national attention earlier this year over a policy requiring that physicians perform an extra pelvic exam three days before a woman receives a surgical abortion, even though physicians already do the exam immediately before the procedure.‚ÄĚhttps://t.co/RfnvStXyeR
¬ó Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 29, 2019
The spreadsheet reportedly included ‚Äúmedical identification numbers, dates of medical procedures and the gestational ages of fetuses‚ÄĚ of the patients at Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, Williams, an OBGYN, is facing calls by the Missouri House and Senate to be put under immediate investigation by the governor.
¬ďState law requires the health department director to be ¬Ďof recognized character and integrity,¬í¬Ē state Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said.
¬ďThis unsettling behavior calls into question whether Doctor Williams meets that high standard.¬Ē
It‚Äôs also really bad science.
Women and their menstrual cycles are not standardized. Some women menstruate more than once in a 28 day cycle. Some can go months or years without a cycle due to health reasons like thyroid disease or PCOS.
Shouldn‚Äôt an Ob/Gyn know something about, well, gynecology?
This is creepy and gross ????????
¬ó Sharon Jaffe-Johnson (@jaffe_johnson) October 30, 2019
Talk about a HIPAA violation. That breaks about half the rules on the book.
¬ó David Dennison ?????? (@john_winger) October 30, 2019
¬ó Save America & Dump Trump (@Elynnmahon) October 29, 2019
Here¬ís one reason why men must regulate women: pic.twitter.com/1NBmesTJTW
¬ó Debra (@blowfish8888) October 30, 2019
¬ó (((Terri #Resistance=?, #Change=?))) (@omega3825) October 30, 2019
In addition, Williams instituted a policy earlier this year requiring physicians to perform a second pelvic exam before receiving a surgical abortion, which Planned Parenthood has deemed ‚Äúinvasive‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúmedically unnecessary.‚ÄĚ
Dr: when was your last menstrual period?
Me: the hell if i know but let me just call Missouri.
¬ó Hope Lovejoy (@gracepeacelove7) October 29, 2019
Why are Republicans so rapey.
¬ó rzrwiresunrise (@rzrwiresunrise) October 29, 2019
¬ó Mary Snavlinmsnavlin (@msnavlin) October 29, 2019
Republican men tracking women‚Äôs menstrual cycles is straight out of the Handmaid‚Äôs Tale, and Williams isn‚Äôt the only one doing it. It‚Äôs sickening, so expected of them.
The U.S. Is Tracking Migrant Girls‚Äô Periods to Stop Them From Getting Abortionshttps://t.co/PoNF7fK6hx
¬ó Denise Shearin (@DeniseShearin) October 30, 2019
Why did he even get that info? In addition to the tremendous creep factor and invasion of privacy, it‚Äôs a HIPAA violation.
¬ó Beth (@Bethfromhere) October 29, 2019
¬ďMissouri politicians have gone too far. This is government overreach at its worst,‚ÄĚ said Yamelsie Rodriguez, president of Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
Who has an address for the Missouri state health director, so he can directly receive the tampons and napkins he‚Äôs so obsessed about?
¬ó cleanwatr (@cleanwatr) October 29, 2019
It¬ís all about controlling women. Please get people educated about this personal issue, get people registered and everyone with a brain please VOTE IN 2020 every little local election, state election and national election.
¬ó LisaHaines (@lisahaineslaw) October 29, 2019
Men trying to control women‚Ä¶again!
¬ó HolliWinters (@HolliWinters) October 29, 2019
¬ó ???? OUFENIX (D) (@oufenix) October 29, 2019
¬ó CHARI ???????????????? (@charito_lee) October 30, 2019
The hearing at which Williams testified this information is one being conducted by the state to determine whether or not Planned Parenthood should be able to keep its license. When is the hearing to see if Williams can keep his?
For now, the clinic remains open.
The Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement is available here.
‚ÄúThroughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. They¬íre taboo. They¬íre embarrassing. They¬íre ‚Äėgross‚Äô.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúAnd due to a crumbling or nonexistent national sex ed program, they are misunderstood. Because of these stigmas, a status quo has been established to exclude people who menstruate from the seat at the decision-making table, creating discriminations like the tampon tax, medicines that favor male biology, and more.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúPeriod Power aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods.‚ÄĚ