What the possible end of abortions in Missouri means for neighboring states

By Lauren Weber

ST. LOUIS — As the last abortion clinic in Missouri warned that it will have to stop providing the procedure as soon as Friday, abortion providers in surrounding states said they are anticipating an uptick of even more Missouri patients. At Hope Clinic in Granite City, Ill., just 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis, Deputy Director Alison Dreith said Tuesday her clinic was preparing for more patients as news about Missouri spread. “We’re really scrambling today about the need for increased staff and how fast can we hire and train,” Dreith said.

Illinois House passes Reproductive Health Act

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House of Representatives has passed the Reproductive Health Act. It now goes to the State Senate. Equality Illinois said in a Facebook post that the bill passed 64-50. EI was one of the organizations backing the bill, including Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, ACLU of Illinois, Personal PAC, Men4Choice, and others. The bill would repeal both the state’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975, removing restrictions on abortions later in pregnancy, and expand insurance coverage for procedures and contraception.

Missouri’s last abortion clinic could close this week

ST. LOUIS — The last clinic in Missouri providing abortions could lose its license this week. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Tuesday that the clinic’s license expires on Friday. Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state Department of Health and Senior Services, told the newspaper that the state would make a decision at that time on whether to renew the facility’s license.

Missouri State Capitol

Missouri Gov. signs law banning abortion at 8 weeks

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed a law that bans all abortions at eight weeks. The bill was passed by the State Senate last week. The law includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for performing abortions. Women wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Missouri State Capitol

Missouri joins list of states with anti-choice bills

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate just voted to ban all abortions after eight weeks, according to media reports. The Associated Press said that the bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for performing abortions. Women wouldn’t be prosecuted. The vote came hours after Alabama signed into law the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

Ind. governor signs new more restrictive abortion laws

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, has signed two new laws that would increase restrictions on abortion in the state, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported. House Enrolled Act 1211, prohibits dilation and evacuation abortions, called “dismemberment abortion” in the law, except when a woman otherwise would suffer “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” According to the newspaper, only 27 were performed in 2017 out of 7,778 abortions in the state. It’s usually performed when prenatal testing indicates serious health risks for either the fetus or the pregnant woman if the pregnancy is carried to term. It is the safest procedure to perform after 13 weeks.

‘Heartbeat bills’ give state lawmakers pause on anti-abortion tactics

By Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio

NASHVILLE — In anticipation of a new anti-abortion tilt on the Supreme Court bench, some states are moving to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy or to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents. On Thursday, Ohio became the latest state to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. For a long time, Ohio Right to Life supported a more gradual approach to restrict the procedure and deemed what’s come to be called a “heartbeat bill” too radical — until this year. Restricting abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected basically bans the procedure after six weeks of gestation — before many women know they’re pregnant.

Hoosier anti-abortion candidate too gay for anti-abortion group


FORT WAYNE — A gay GOP candidate for the Fort Wayne City Council did not get an endorsement from an local anti-abortion group Allen County Right to Life despite his positions on abortion. From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
Taylor Vanover, a Republican running against Democratic incumbent Geoff Paddock for the District 5 seat in November, did not receive an endorsement despite submitting a pro-life questionnaire with answers similar to those of other candidates. The reason he was not endorsed, according to public social media posts made by Vanover’s father, is that the candidate is gay. “I know this is exactly the reason he was denied because I have contacts that were in the room when the votes were cast,” Vanover’s father, Michael, wrote in a March 14 Facebook post. In a subsequent post, Michael Vanover said if members of the Right to Life PAC don’t like gay people, “that is their right.”

“I don’t begrudge any of the RTL decision makers for disliking gay people, that is their right,” he wrote.

Illinois Supreme Court declines challenge to state-paid abortion law

SPRINGFIELD — On Tuesday, the state Surpreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit to block a law that would allow the state to pay for abortions. Former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the law in 2018. Illinois conservatives have been angry at him since then. WEEK-TV reported that the lawsuit was brought by Sprinfield Right to Life against the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services to overturn the law. According to the TV station, plaintiffs claimed that the law didn’t give an estimate of the costs.