Following the news that a federal judge refused to block a dangerous, anti-choice law that will severely impact access to medication abortion across Missouri, NARAL released the following statement:
“Every woman deserves the right to make decisions about her own life, body, and future, yet today the court turned its back on the women of Missouri,” said Adrienne Kimmell, NARAL Pro-Choice America Vice President. “This law does nothing to improve the health and wellbeing of women across Missouri, and instead forces them to jump through even more hoops and bear greater burdens to access their constitutional right to an abortion. Medication abortion is safe and effective, and laws like this serve no other purpose than furthering the anti-choice movement’s extreme, out-of-touch agenda at the expense of Missouri’s women.”
“This unnecessary law comes from former Gov. Greitens’ abortion special session in 2017, which had one intention only: to further restrict access after that historic ruling,” said Alison Dreith, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Executive Director. “SB5, which came out of the special session, simply repackaged the TRAP laws struck down in Missouri after the Whole Woman’s Health decision, and will continue to impose an undue burden on women seeking care. We stand with women across the state who deserve better access to quality care and bodily autonomy, not a court ruling that will put their health at risk.”
Today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips completely ignores the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision that reaffirmed abortion as a constitutional right and establishes that states have no right to impose an undue burden on women seeking abortion care. As long as this law is in place, women across Missouri will have to suffer an undue burden, as many will have to travel hours to receive healthcare that has been proven to be completely safe time and time again.
If left in place, SB5 would keep clinics from providing abortion care in Columbia and Springfield, Missouri, forcing women to travel to Kansas City or St. Louis to receive the care they deserve. This dangerous ruling comes just weeks after the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a similar law in Arkansas.