ST.LOUIS — Today, the new #StopTheBans coalition partners, ACLU of Missouri, Gateway Women’s Access Fund, Hope Clinic for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, National Council of Jewish Women – St. Louis, Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri and ProgressWomen rallied together at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood to fight back against political attacks on access to safe and legal abortion.

The rally, which continued the coalition’s “Repro Week of Action,” focused on bringing Missourians together to push back on House Bill 126 and Senate Bill 279, two extreme bills that would ban abortion in Missouri. These unconstitutional and dangerous bills have only one objective: to bring Missouri to the forefront of political race to overturn Roe V. Wade and criminalize abortion.

The rally featured several women who shared their abortion stories and health providers who talked about the medical necessity of access to reproductive care.

Sara Baker, legislative and policy director, ACLU of Missouri:

“We are raising our voice because women have a constitutional right to access a safe abortion. Our laws should safeguard Missourians’ health, not make accessing health care more dangerous. We want to make one thing clear to politicians, it’s time to end the attack on abortion. Stop the bans.”

Michele Landeau, board president, Gateway Women’s Access Fund:

“In order to access abortion care in the state of Missouri today, a person must request time off of work, find childcare and transportation, travel to the only abortion care provider left in the state, and then do it all over again three days later to satisfy the state-mandated waiting period. Factor in how long it can take to recognize a pregnancy and the time it takes to make the decision to seek an abortion, and a six-week ban would make abortion virtually unattainable in the state of Missouri.”

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:

“All Americans deserve the right to make personal decisions about their own body, life and future.The anti-choice politicians pushing these cruel and extreme bans have only one intent: To gut and overturn Roe V. Wade and criminalize safe and legal abortion. Today, Missourians from across the state rallied together to remind lawmakers of what we all know to be true: The decision to have an abortion belongs to pregnant people and their doctors — not politicians.”

Susan Katzman, president, National Council of Jewish Women – St.Louis:

“Not all women have access to equitable healthcare resources and therefore need more options such as going to Planned Parenthood and other options that are manageable and cost effective.”

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.

“Tonight, the St. Louis community came together to tell Jefferson City politicians: stop obsessing over abortion and start focusing on policies that actually improve the health of Missourians.”

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. These abortion bans must be stopped.”

Visit StopTheBansMO.org for a complete list of Repro Week of Action events, #StopTheBans Coalition information, and details about HB 126 and SB 279.

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