Jefferson City, Mo. -- The statewide #StopTheBans Coalition is dismayed by the Missouri Senate’s decision to ban abortion at eight weeks. This measure will drastically limit the ability of Missourians to access safe, legal abortion care.
The right to an abortion is protected under the U.S. Constitution as has been recognized more than forty-five years of Supreme Court precedent. The Missouri Legislature, following the misguided and extreme examples of anti-choice zealots in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Kentucky, has made its intention clear: it wants to ban all abortion. Preventing women from accessing abortion after eight weeks, before some women even know they are pregnant, is unconstitutional and dangerous for women’s health. Abortion access is healthcare. This proposal would criminalize doctors who perform abortions and force women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, even if the pregnancy is not viable or risky for the mother.
“This measure is designed to control women’s bodies and eliminate free will,” said ACLU of Missouri Legislative and Policy Director Sara Baker. “Missouri legislators have chosen to legislate based on propaganda. They have made no exception for cases of rape or incest.”
Missouri’s politicians have showed their willingness to step into the examination room and overrule medical expertise. Passing an eight week abortion ban is an example of government overreach and disregard for the constitutional rights of Missourians.
HB 126 now heads to Governor Parson’s desk. We urge the governor to uphold the Constitution and veto this legislation.
#StopTheBans Coalition members include the ACLU of Missouri, Boone County Democrats, Catholics for Choice, CoMo For Progress, Gateway Women's Access Fund, Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus, Hope Clinic for Women, Indivisible Missouri, Missouri Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, the National Council of Jewish Women - St. Louis, National Women's Political Caucus - St. Louis, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, ProgressWomen, SEIU Healthcare Missouri, SEIU Missouri/Kansas State Council, Sierra Club Missouri, Southwest Missouri NOW, and Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice.
Sara Baker, legislative and policy director, ACLU of Missouri: “Women have a constitutional right to access a safe abortion. The real agenda of these bills is to ban abortion outright. Since they can’t, they are using this restrictive law to put abortion out of reach. Measures like this do not end abortion, they end a woman’s ability to safely obtain an abortion.”
Dr. Erin King, executive director, Hope Clinic for Women: "All patients deserve access to safe, legal health care in their own communities. These bans on abortion do nothing to protect the health and safety of women, but instead are intentional blockades of access. Patients in Missouri have the right to make their own decisions and plans about their own bodies and their own families.”
Leah Boersig, board president, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri: “Let’s make this clear: Missouri is currently facing a Syphilis outbreak and a skyrocketing maternal mortality rate. Yet, anti-choice politicians continue to waste taxpayer dollars on pushing access to access to safe, legal abortion even further out of reach for pregnant people in Missouri. But the people most affected by this dangerous bill are the people most vulnerable — women of low income and women of color who already face tremendous barriers to accessing the care they need, want and deserve. The bottom line is this bill is about control — controlling women’s bodies, lives and futures. We will continue to fight tooth and nail against this deliberate and cruel attack on reproductive freedom in Missouri."
Nancy Litz, vice president of advocacy, National Council of Jewish Women - St. Louis: “I put my life on the line to risk having an abortion pre-Roe. I will fight so my daughters or my potential granddaughters don't have to face the same terrifying prospect.”
M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri: “Abortion is health care. The lawmakers seeking to restrict Missourians’ access to safe, legal abortion must be called out for their real intention: running in a political race to make Missouri the state that overturns Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hon. Stacey Newman, founder and director, ProgressWomen: “Missouri Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr and the GOP abortion ban bill sponsors have no business inserting themselves in private medical offices, interfering with women and their physicians. Abortion care is supported by over 73% of voters and is accessed regularly by conservative, religious and even Republican women, for reasons which are none of anyone’s business.”
Visit www.StopTheBansMO.org for #StopTheBans Coalition information, and details about HB 126.