MISSOURI – The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. Just before 10 a.m., Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a proclamation to end elective abortions in Missouri and strictly allow them for medical emergencies.
Several state leaders, representatives and senators representing Missouri and St. Louis have issued statements on the decision. Candidates running for political offices and organizations have also weighed in on the decision:
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones
“Today’s unjust ruling from a far-right Supreme Court doesn’t change the fact that 7 in 10 Missourians support the right to an abortion. It does not change the fact that in states like ours, we’ve already been living a post-Roe reality, with thousands traveling out of state for abortions. As devastating as this moment is for families across the country, St. Louisans are ready to take action to protect our rights until Congress steps in to do what it should have done decades ago: codify Roe into law.
If you’re a Democratic leader who has somehow managed to stay silent on abortion rights, it’s far past time for you to speak out and join together with us in this fight. Overturning Roe v. Wade was just the first step in a rightwing plot to take away our freedoms, and more attacks are coming. From limiting access to the ballot box to overturning marriage equality to prohibiting teachers from teaching accurate history, our children could grow up with fewer rights than we ourselves did. That’s not the future I want for my son.
Abortion is healthcare, and it should be safe and accessible to all who need it. Our right to make our own healthcare decisions is an inalienable one, no matter what. As mayor, I will fight like hell to protect reproductive healthcare and give St. Louisans the support they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.”
Missouri U.S. Congresswoman Cori Bush
(Via Twitter): “Abortion care IS health care. It was so before this. And it will remain so after this. We don’t care what a far-right extremist Supreme Court that is in a crisis of legitimacy says. Your racist, sexist, classist ruling won’t stop us from accessing the care we need.”
(Via Interview): “The moment I believed this day could come was the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Being here in this moment. Nothing could really prepare me. I thought I was preparing myself, and I thought we were doing the work to help prepare so many others. For this to actually happen, I can’t believe this far-right extremist Supreme Court would overturn Roe V. Wade when the numbers show the majority of people in the country did not want it overturned.
I think about the people who right now or earlier today or earlier this found out they were pregnant and trying to figure out what to do. People who are pregnant right now have been thinking about, ‘What do I have to do?’ I’m thinking about folks, thinking about my daughter who will now know more about living in a place where abortion is not legal than she knows about living in a place where it is, unlike me.
Forty-nine years of this constitutional right, they just stripped it away. Forty-nine years.
When we know that Black and brown communities are hit the hardest, when we know indigenous communities [and] when we know the folks who are hit the hardest, most directly impact, that is okay with this group of people who chose to be the ones to make the decisions for the entire country. If that’s okay with them when the leading cause of death prior to Roe V. Wade, prior, 1973 for Back women was the substance that went along with unsafe abortions. We’re saying it’s okay to go back there? No.
As a Congresswoman, and as a regular person in this world, I’m going to fight it.”
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page
“Rolling back Roe triggers a major public health crisis in Missouri, where our state legislature has
already discussed some of the most extreme laws in the country. Abortion should be legal, safe,
accessible, and affordable.
Therefore, our health department will consult with every abortion provider and use every
resource of St. Louis County government to ensure County employees and residents have access
to the services they need to stay healthy.
In March 2022, I signed an Executive Order, EO #19, expanding access to the reproductive
services offered by St. Louis County. Our Department of Health has also worked to ramp up
reproductive health services with a focus on making sure resources are distributed in a way that
addresses racial disparities.”
Planned Parenthood of St. Louis
“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.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“In Illinois, we trust women. Despite the action of the Supreme Court today overturning Roe v. Wade, the right to safe, accessible reproductive health care is in full force in Illinois – and will remain so.
In Illinois, we’ve planned for this terrible day, an enormous step backward and a shattering loss of rights. We passed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining choice as the law of the land in Illinois. We removed the trigger law that would have prohibited abortion in Illinois with the overturning of Roe v Wade. We expanded health care so that finances are not a barrier to receiving reproductive care.
In Illinois, we are a state committed to expanding access to reproductive health care including abortion care, contraception access, fertility treatment and gender-affirming care. We’ve made it clear that we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves about their own reproductive health.
In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders to expand them. To that end, I am calling the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks, with the support and consultation of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. Together, we are committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.”
Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
“Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.
“The bottom line: on critical, personal choices involving a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions about her own body, do you trust her or the government? The Supreme Court now says a woman’s right to privacy does not extend to the most personal, private choice she will ever face.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee will explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America in a hearing next month. The Court’s decision to erase the right to access an abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care services, but also criminal consequences for women and health care providers in states eager to embrace draconian restrictions. I will keep fighting to enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. We cannot let our children inherit a nation that is less free and more dangerous than the one their parents grew up in.”
Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth
“I am outraged and horrified—this outcome is a nightmare that robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades. Millions of American families—including my own—have relied on Roe v. Wade for almost 50 years, and 70% of Americans believe it should remain the law of the land. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Justices who claimed Roe was ‘settled law,’ but then turned around and ruled otherwise, will—as Justice Sotomayor said—’struggle to survive the stench’ of this extreme decision.
“In a nation with a growing maternal mortality crisis and often inaccessible healthcare, without affordable child care or universal paid leave, forcing births on anyone—even when the mother’s life could be at risk—is not only cruel, it will also be deadly. Doctors working in states where abortion, or even management of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, is outlawed could even be threatened with prison for daring to save a patient’s life. Victims of rape could be forced to relive their trauma every day.
“I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had. As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Illinois remains a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive care. It is as important as ever that the Senate acts to codify Roe v. Wade into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
“Nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the United States Constitution gave un-elected federal judges authority to regulate abortion. We are happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions.
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.”
Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (via Twitter)
“At long last, Roe is OVERRULED
This is a momentous day in America, when the efforts of generations of modern-day abolitionists comes to fruition. One of the most unjust decisions in American history has been overturned.
One of those modern-day abolitionists is my wife, Erin, who served as counsel to Mississippi on this case and helped write the briefs that prevailed at the Supreme Court. She is an amazing woman, and this is an amazing victory for life.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt
“Today, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, with the issuance of an attorney general opinion, my Office has yet again reinforced Missouri’s dedication to protecting the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling. 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.”
Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade
“With Roe overturned, Missouri now requires people to remain pregnant against their will, treating them as little more than fetal incubators with no rights or role in the decision, even in cases of rape and incest. Republicans will not stop with abortion. They will begin stripping away access to birth control and contraception, in vitro fertilization and marriage equality.
Just this past session, Missouri Republicans proposed bills criminalizing the treatment of ectopic pregnancies and crossing state lines to have an abortion in a state where the right to privacy and bodily autonomy is respected. With the federal courts no longer protecting basic rights, Missourians must elect more lawmakers who are willing to do so or we will quickly become a state where government oppression replaces personal freedom.”
Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner (via Twitter)
“I’m glad the #SCOTUS decision has come down and Roe v. Wade has been overturned. This is a tremendous victory for the unborn and our country.”
Trudy Busch (Missouri U.S. Senate Candidate)
“With today’s Supreme Court decision, Missouri women will lose the right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest. To those reeling from this news: I’m with you. I’ll work relentlessly for my constituents to be able to make their own healthcare decisions. This decision takes us backwards 50 years and lessens women’s independence and our rights. It especially affects the most vulnerable amongst us. Reproductive healthcare decisions are a woman’s to make, and I will fight to protect our rights, to respect our intelligence and our choice, and to always advocate for our equality. We’ve come too far to turn back the clock.”
Lucas Kunce (Missouri U.S. Senate Candidate) (via Twitter)
“As of this moment, abortion is no longer legal in the state of Missouri, even in cases of rape or incest.
This is a Big Brother attack on all of us. Congress must immediately end the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade. If they won’t, then we must replace them.
We all know who this decision will fall hardest on — working people and struggling families. They’re losing control over their bodies and their economic opportunities. We need to take our power back. In the Senate, I will fight like hell to guarantee access to abortion for all.”
This is a developing story. Check back for more reactions from Missouri and Illinois state officials.
Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
“I am angry but unafraid. Today, and every day, I will continue fighting for a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. I am disappointed but determined. Although we have known for weeks that our right to bodily autonomy can be a matter of debate, and can be taken away with a single decision, we cannot avoid the deep ache caused by this ruling. It is a dark day for our country.
I ache for the women across the nation who fear for what comes next. I ache for my daughters, who are losing a constitutional right that was afforded to their mother. I ache for the lives—the lives of BIPOC women, in particular—that this decision has put at risk.
The road ahead is hard and treacherous, but raising our voices is now more important than ever. Those who want to restrict our freedoms and strip away our rights may call today a victory, but tomorrow and every day we will be at the frontlines to push back.
To everyone affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, you are not alone in the journey ahead. We stand with the activists, organizers, and community members across the country in the fight for bodily autonomy, and we will continue to ensure that Illinois will always be a bulwark in that fight.”
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs
“Five people I never met decided they will make health decision for my school-aged daughter, not me.
Years from now, when my daughter is an adult, she will not be able to decide what happens with her body because five people she never met determined they know best.
Today, the doctors and nurses and friends who participate in a woman’s decision could face criminal charges for doing nothing more than delivering their professional opinion, providing their expert care, and offering a supportive role.
As the father of a teenage daughter, I am furious with the hypocritical politicians who seek to control her body and have decided that she, and every other woman in my life, and in our country, are incapable of making decisions about their own body.”
Illinois U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis
“This is a historic and incredible day for Life and the unborn in America, a day that all of us in the pro-life movement have been praying for and working towards. The Supreme Court was absolutely right to overturn previous, wrongly-decided abortion decisions. Nothing in the Constitution confers the right to an abortion. As a pro-life lawmaker with a 100 percent pro-life voting record, I have advocated for years that the Court overturn Roe.
“Now that the Supreme Court has turned this issue over to the people’s elected representatives, our pro-life work continues. We must elect pro-life leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure we advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn. Nowhere is this more important than the State of Illinois, where J.B. Pritzker and Democrats in Springfield have advanced an extreme abortion expansion agenda that legalized taxpayer-funded, late-term abortions, and even restricted parents’ abilities to know if their minor child is seeking an abortion. This is an extreme abortion agenda that is out-of-step with the people of Illinois. I will continue to work tirelessly to advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn in Washington and in Springfield.”
Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Missouri Democratic Party:
“Today will be a day branded into the memories of millions of Missourians as the day we lost not only our right to privacy, but our bodily autonomy.
Missourians know what’s best for them and their families, and today that has been stripped away from them. Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that Republicans can steal the right of survivors of rape and incest to determine what is best for them.
Republicans will not stop with abortion. They will continue to strip away access to birth control and contraception, in vitro fertilization, and same-sex marriage. Just this past session, Missouri Republicans proposed bills criminalizing the treatment of ectopic pregnancies and crossing state lines to have an abortion in a state where the right to privacy and bodily autonomy is respected.
The Missouri Democratic Party and the Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee believe the decision if and when to start a family is a serious and personal decision, not one that any politician should be a barrier to.
We stand with the millions of Missourians who believe in the right to abortion and against government intrusion.”