Missouri Celebrates an Increases in Abortion Access After Lawsuit

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Missouri will now provide patients access to safe and legal medication abortions. Missouri has some of the toughest laws on abortion and until last week, there was only one abortion clinic in the entire state located in St. Louis.

The Midtown Health Center of Kansas City will now offer medication abortions after Planned Parenthood Great Plains won a lawsuit that will allow the clinic to resume abortion services. The clinic stopped offering abortion services 5 years ago due to Missouri’s targeted regulations of abortion providers, very similar to the HB2 laws in Texas that were struck down by the Supreme Court last year.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains announced that its Columbia location will also begin offering abortion services in the near future, with the likelihood of two other locations to follow.

Aaron Samulcek, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains said in a statement, “We celebrate this win for our patients who deserve greater access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care including safe, legal abortion.”

Missouri already has several laws that serve as barriers to abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Missouri requires an individual seeking an abortion to receive state-mandated counseling 72 hours prior to the procedure and most women in the state of Missouri have to travel outside their counties to reach a facility that provides abortion services

This summer, Republican Governor Eric Greitens called a special session of the state’s legislature to focus on the state’s abortion laws in response to a federal judge striking down several of the laws already on the books. During this special session, Republican Representative Milke Moon introduced the “Missouri Right to Life Act,” a bill that would declare life begins at conception and would outlaw abortion, by positing a Facebook video that showed him decapitating and skinning a chicken.

Media Resources: Rewire 9/11/17; Slate 9/12/17; Feminist Newswire 6/15/17; Planned Parenthood Great Plains 9/11/17

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