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Missouri senator hopes to add clarity to state’s abortion laws

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Posted at 1:04 PM, Dec 06, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri state senator has filed legislation he hopes will add clarity in the state’s abortion laws.

Sen. Greg Razer (D - Kansas City) announced Tuesday he’s filed legislation that would explicitly add “ectopic pregnancies” as a medical emergency in the state’s abortion laws.

After the United States Supreme Court overturned abortion protections afforded by Roe vs. Wade, an abortion law triggered into effect in Missouri.

That abortion law made most abortions in Missouri illegal, with no exceptions in the case of rape or incest. A doctor can still perform an abortion in the case of a medical emergency. In July, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services published a one-page document outlining regulations of the state’s abortion facilities.

Razer says the legislation would also ensure access to contraception.

READ | Senate Bill 62

In the days following the Supreme Court’s ruling, definitions of allowable contraception services led to confusion.

For a brief period of time in late June, Saint Luke’s Health System said it would no longer provide emergency contraceptive services to Missouri patients, citing Missouri’s trigger law.

The policy lasted less than 24 hours after a spokesperson for the Missouri Attorney General’s office released a statement that the law “does not prohibit the use or provision of Plan B, or contraception.”

“We have seen Missouri women in medical emergencies turned away from hospitals or denied birth control since Missouri’s total ban on abortion went into effect,” Razer said in the release. “To prevent this from happening again, we need to clarify Missouri law so that all medical professionals know that ectopic pregnancies are a medical emergency, and birth control is still legal.”

Legislators are set to return to Jefferson City for the 2023 Legislative Session on Jan. 4.