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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson won't call special session to clarify abortion law

Lawmakers seek clarification on contraceptives, emergency abortions
Gov. Mike Parson addresses trigger law confusion
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 20:43:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson won't call a special session to clarify the legality of certain contraceptives, or when medical providers can provide abortions in life-threatening situations.

On Monday, democratic lawmakers penned a letter to Parson requesting the special session after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

After the ruling from SCOTUS, Missouri's Trigger Law went into effect which bans abortions in the state, except for in medical emergencies.

On Thursday, Parson said he wouldn't call the session because the issue was complicated, and he wanted doctors and other medical professionals to weigh on the matter.

"Well the legislation, we'll have to play that out," Parson said. "No, not a special session, because you're talking a very complicated issue that's gonna take time to figure out how to do this."

Parson also said he wants doctors and other medical professionals to weigh on the matter.

"Doctors need to have a seat at that table, and frankly, they're more qualified to be able to make that decision than anyone else is," he said.

Democrat lawmakers said they had received reports from both legal experts and medical providers saying the state's law was confusing.

Legislation passed in the special session would've addressed the ambiguity of the law, according the lawmakers.

In response to his decision not to call the special session, Rep. Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) accused Parson of allowing the law to be vague.

"It’s nice to hear the governor finally say bureaucrats shouldn’t come between a patient and their health care provider, but he’s about three years too late after signing extreme legislation into law that does the exact opposite," Quade said in a press release. "Now, instead of bringing legal certainty to the right of Missourians to access and use birth control, the governor has opted to stick with vague assurances."