Missouri attorney general could sue Kansas City for aiding out-of-state abortions – Catholic World Report

Eric S. Schmitt, Attorney General of Missouri. / Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

St. Louis, Missouri, July 6, 2022 / 3:02 p.m. (CNA).

Local lawmakers in Missouri’s two largest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, are taking steps to support women who want to travel to other states for abortions, after the practice became illegal in Missouri in late June.

A resolution passed by the Kansas City Council June 30 directs the city manager to develop a reimbursement plan for “health care-related travel costs and any other barriers to health care not available within city limits.” Although the resolution does not mention abortion by name, it does imply that “recent barriers have been imposed on access to comprehensive and comprehensive reproductive health care in the State of Missouri.” The resolution also directs the city manager to negotiate a mid-year enrollment period for city employees to choose a health care plan that covers abortions.

Across the state, a bill pending in St. Louis would create a municipal “reproductive equity fund,” allocating $1 million of funds from the city’s U.S. bailout — federal dollars donated to the state for COVID relief — toward payment of travel expenses for women seeking abortions outside of Missouri. The mayor of St. Louis said she would sign the bill if it reached his office.

Missouri is one of more than a dozen states with a ‘trigger law’ banning virtually all abortions, which went into effect shortly after the US Supreme Court ruling of June 24 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overruled Roe v. Wade and returned the question. state abortion policy.

On July 1, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he planned to sue Kansas City, claiming the city’s plan amounted to using taxpayer funds for abortions, which is prohibited by law. of State. The Kansas City resolution states that the reimbursement should not be funded by taxpayers, but does not specify where the funds should come from.

“Using taxpayers’ hard-earned money, whether [American Rescue Plan] funds or other forms of revenue, to fund abortions is simply illegal under Missouri law,” Schmitt said in A declaration.

“St. Louis City and County, and Kansas City, and anyone who attempts to allow taxpayer-funded abortions will be put on trial by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

St. Louis and Kansas City both border states with more permissive abortion laws than Missouri. Across the river from St. Louis in Illinois, the state has lifted nearly all restrictions on abortion in recent years. A new Planned Parenthood “megaclinic” in Illinois, near St. Louis, has positioned itself as a regional hub for women seeking abortions. In Kansas, where abortion is legal, voters in the state are due to vote in August on a constitutional amendment that, if passed, would strike abortion rights out of the state constitution.

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Melissa C. Keyes