JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt signed proclamations Friday banning abortion in the state following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade at about 9 a.m.
Missouri has a “trigger law,” meaning abortion would be abolished with a proclamation from the governor or AG following Roe v. Wade overturning.
Missouri is the first in the country to end abortion. Schmitt signed a proclamation at about 9:15 a.m. Shortly after, Governor Mike Parson also signed a proclamation that activates the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act.”
“With Roe v. Wade overturned and statutory triggers provided in HB 126, we are issuing this proclamation to restore our state authority to regulate abortion and protect life. Thanks to decades of conservative leaders, Missouri has become one of the most pro-life states in the nation, and our Administration has always fought for the life of every unborn child. Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for: Today, we have won our fight to protect innocent life,” Parson said.
“My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion. I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn,” states Schmitt.
The proclamation Parson signed prohibits doctors from performing abortions unless there is a medical emergency and makes it a crime for any person who knowingly performs or induces a non-medical emergency abortion and subjects his or her professional license to suspension. It protects women who receive an illegal abortion from being prosecuted in violation of the act.
The proclamation was signed Friday morning because of House Bill 126 passed back in 2019. The “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act” was included in the bill and was contingent upon the Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade in whole or in part.
A day before House Bill 126 was set to go into effect it was blocked by a federal judge. The bill is being blocked by a federal judge, but the “trigger law” does not fall under this.
Republican lawmakers in the Show-Me State see this as a win. The law passed back in 2019 would ban abortions after eight weeks, not allowing any exemptions for rape or incest survivors. It also includes a provision prohibiting a mother from getting an abortion if she receives a prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis. Since being blocked by a federal judge, it’s been an ongoing legal fight.
Back in September, a rare move as all 11 members of a federal court of appeals heard the case. House Bill 126 also contains language that would criminalize health care providers who violate the ban on abortions, resulting in prison time or having their medical licenses suspended or revoked.
The decision made by the Supreme Court Friday to fundamentally reshape American society by overturning the landmark 1973 precedent is certain to ignite a political firestorm and yield a complex patchwork of state laws that will effectively block large swathes of the population from terminating unwanted pregnancies.
“Today is the worst case scenario for 36 million people of reproductive age who live in 26 states including Missouri where abortion is now poised to be banned. Everything that led to the overturning of Roe should be a stain on our history from which we must learn and do better. This begins a rebuilding of a future with abortion equity — not just rights or access, but rights and access for all people. From this day on, we cannot accept compromise, middle ground, or ‘good enough’. We must demand a system that creates abortion access for all people who need it, no matter their identity, insurance status, or zip code,” writes Planned Parenthood St. Louis on Facebook.