Missouri bans most abortions after US Supreme Court ruling

June 24, 2022 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri law outlawing most abortions took effect Friday, as Republican state officials acted quickly to enforce a ban following a U.S. Supreme Court decision ending constitutional protections for abortion.

A 2019 Missouri law prohibits abortions “except in cases of medical emergency.” But that law contained a provision making it effective only upon notification by the attorney general, governor or Legislature that the U.S. Supreme Court had overruled its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing nationwide right to abortion.

Moments after Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning that precedent, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson filed the necessary paperwork to immediately enact the state’s abortion ban.

The state’s statutes subsequently were updated online Friday to show that the ban had taken effect.

The Missouri law makes it a felony punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison to perform or induce an abortion. Medical professionals who do so also could lose their licenses. The law says that women undergoing abortions cannot be prosecuted.

Missouri already had some of the nation’s more restrictive abortion laws and had seen a significant decline in the number of abortions performed in the state, with residents instead traveling to clinics just across the border in Illinois and Kansas.