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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Today, the Missouri Senate passed one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country. House Bill 126 criminalizes abortion as early as eight weeks, before some people even know they are pregnant. This dangerous bill has drawn unprecedented opposition from physicians, patients and community leaders.

M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, issued the following statement:

“Politicians are putting the health and lives of Missouri women at risk in their race to make our state the one that overturns Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court. These bans on safe, legal abortion will have real costs — expensive legal costs and human costs for the women and families who need reproductive health care.

“At a time when maternal mortality is increasing in our state, we must be doing everything we can to increase access to health care — not cut it.

“The House must show Missourians that women’s health matters by rejecting this extreme abortion ban.”

Missouri is part of an alarming national trend of extreme politicians pushing abortion bans in defiance of the American people, whose support for access to safe, legal abortion is at an all-time high. Fifteen state bans on abortion have passed so far in 2019. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Ohio have passed extreme and unconstitutional bans, essentially outlawing all abortion.

Missouri is among the most restrictive states in the country for abortion access. Medically unnecessary restrictions already on the books have left Missourians who need safe, legal abortion with just a single abortion provider, in St. Louis.

House Bill 126 is a dangerous attack on Missourians' health care. At a time when Missouri’s maternal mortality rate is rising and communities in the state have infant mortality rates higher than some developing countries, lawmakers continue to obsess over banning abortion. Planned Parenthood Advocates will never stop fighting to ensure that everyone in this country can access health care, including safe, legal abortion.

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Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri works to protect and expand sexual and reproductive rights and health for all Missourians. It is a joint project of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes and Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, the political and advocacy arms of both Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri.