JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A big topic across the nation this week and in Missouri the initial draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Depending on the outcome, Missouri could be one of the most impacted states because of a bill passed back in 2019. The General Assembly approved legislation three years ago that would ban abortions after eight weeks with no exception to rape or incest.
A day before the law was set to go into effect it was blocked by a federal judge. That bill signed by Gov. Mike Parson includes a “trigger law” which means women could lose all access to an abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Monday night, a draft opinion was leaked saying the Supreme Court would rule to overturn a 1973 ruling that established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
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. The bill includes a “trigger” provision that could make abortions illegal in Missouri. House Bill 126 also contains language that would criminalize health care providers who violate the ban of abortions, resulting in prison time or having their medical licenses suspended or revoked. Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement Tuesday, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, he’s ready to ban abortion.
“We’re encouraged by the draft opinion, and it is consistent with the briefs we’ve submitted to the United States Supreme Court calling for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. If we’re successful and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I’m prepared to immediately issue the opinion that would protect the unborn in Missouri.”
There are 11 Planned Parenthood facilities in the state but the only one that offers abortion is the one in the Central West End in St. Louis. President of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri said in a statement that since abortion is still legal, they will continue to offer the service.