MISSOURI — The new #StopTheBans Coalition is kicking off its “Repro Week of Action” today. The weeklong series of events will bring Missourians together to fight back against political attacks on access to safe, legal abortion.
Formed in response to the Missouri House passing the nation’s most extreme abortion bill, #StopTheBans Coalition members include 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, ProgressWomen, and Southwest Missouri NOW.
House Bill 126, and its Missouri Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 279, ban abortion as early as six weeks — which is before most women even know they are pregnant.
Neither bill has an exception for rape or incest, which could jeopardize Missouri’s $7.2 billion in federal Medicaid funding.
Both HB 126 and SB 279 are bans, blocking a pregnant person’s access to safe, legal abortion. These bills are dangerous, extreme, and unconstitutional — and they are a ploy to put Missouri at the front of a political race to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court.
Missouri women have a right to end a pregnancy. That decision is deeply personal, and belongs to a pregnant person, their family and their doctor — not politicians.
The “Repro Week of Action” begins in Kansas City with an open mic and poetry slam tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Equal Minded Café and Event Center, 4327 Troost Ave., 64110. It continues with events in Springfield, St. Louis, and Columbia.
Sara Baker, legislative and policy director, ACLU of Missouri:
“Women have a constitutional right to access a safe abortion. The real agenda of these bills is to ban abortion outright. Since they can’t, they are using this restrictive law to put abortion out of reach. Measures like this do not end abortion, they end a woman’s ability to safely obtain an abortion. That’s why Missourians across the state are taking action. With our collective voice, we want to make one thing clear to politicians: 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:
“Anti-choice lawmakers in Missouri are pushing some of the most extreme abortion bans in the country, all with one cruel and unrelenting goal: to place Missouri at the forefront of a national race to gut and overturn Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion. But, we’re not powerless. With Planned Parenthood Advocates, the ACLU of Missouri, ProgressWomen and everyone else involved in the #StopTheBans week of action, we will continue to fight for reproductive health care in Missouri for all.”
Nancy Litz, vice president of advocacy, National Council of Jewish Women - St. Louis:
“I put my life on the line to risk having an abortion pre-Roe. I will fight so my daughters or my potential granddaughters don't have to face the same terrifying prospect.”
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.
“This week is an opportunity for Missourians to come together and tell lawmakers: stop obsessing over abortion and start focusing on policies that actually improve the health of our communities.”
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.”
Visit StopTheBansMO.org for a complete list of Repro Week of Action events, #StopTheBans Coalition information, and details about HB 126 and SB 279.