ST. LOUIS, MO — Medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion have pushed access to abortion almost completely out of reach for Missourians. New data release from Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (RHS) reports that a majority of Missouri residents are crossing state lines in an effort to access critical abortion care, and evade Missouri’s burdensome and invasive restrictions on abortion
The striking shift in the number of Missourians leaving the state to access abortion comes on the heels of a wave of attacks, making it difficult — if not nearly impossible — for Missourians to obtain abortions within the state. In 2019, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law a ban on abortion at every stage in pregnancy. In an attempt to gut all access to abortion at the only remaining health center that provides abortion, Governor Parson worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to weaponize public health, and force Missourians to undergo a medically unnecessary and invasive pelvic exam before obtaining an abortion. In October of 2019, it was revealed that Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri DHSS, working under the leadership of Governor Parson, tracked the menstrual cycles of patients at RHS in an attempt to shut down the clinic.
Statement from Mallory Schwarz, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri
“Amidst attacks on reproductive freedom in the Supreme Court and across the country, anti-abortion politicians in Missouri are laying bare their insidious agenda: gutting our fundamental freedoms. From placing medically-unnecessary and harmful restrictions on abortion providers, to introducing nearly two dozen anti-reproductive health bill this year — four of which have seen movement — Governor Parson and anti-choice extremists are on a mission to control the lives, bodies, and futures of women and people who can get pregnant. No doubt, they are willing to use Missourians’ reproductive rights as a bargaining chip to advance their ideological agenda of banning all abortion in Missouri.
“This all-out assault on the reproductive health, safety, and freedom of Missourians paints a clear picture of the draconian future Governor Parson wants for Missourians — one where people are forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, and not supported in raising the families they already have. But this could not be further from the future our community is building, and it’s not the future 7 in 10 Missourians who support abortion want or deserve. We will continue to fight until all Missourians have access to abortion and the power to decide if, when, how, and with whom to grow our families, regardless of their zip code or income.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Missouri, and we believe that every person who can get pregnant should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri works to protect the right of every person who can get pregnant to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.