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Inside Missouri's push to ban out-of-state abortions

The outside of the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center is seen in St. Louis, Missouri, May 30, 2019, the last location in the state performing abortions. - A US court weighed the fate of the last abortion clinic in Missouri on May 30, with the state hours away from becoming the first in 45 years to no longer offer the procedure amid a nationwide push to curtail access to abortion. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
The outside of the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center is seen in St. Louis, Missouri, May 30, 2019, the last location in the state performing abortions. - A US court weighed the fate of the last abortion clinic in Missouri on May 30, with the state hours away from becoming the first in 45 years to no longer offer the procedure amid a nationwide push to curtail access to abortion. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

In Missouri, lawmakers are trying to deter women from going out of state to receive an abortion.

How? By considering legislation that would allowing private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman cross state lines for the procedure.

“Even a decade ago, some of what we now believe and are operating under in terms of abortion laws and restrictions were thought to be so extreme they would never pass,” Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, says.

Another proposal could limit treatments for non-viable, life-threatening pregnancies.

“We’ve really started to travel into some dangerous territory where legislators are not ashamed to show that they don’t understand the science,” McNicholas adds.

Today, On Point: We take a close look at Missouri’s new abortion proposals, and whether other states could follow.

Guests

Tessa Weinberg, reporter at the Missouri Independent. She covers education, health care and the legislature. Author of the article Planned Parenthood sues Missouri social services agency over restricted Medicaid funds. (@Tessa_Weinberg)

Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. (@docmcnick)

Mary Elizabeth Coleman, Republican state representative from Arnold, Missouri since 2018. She practices law at Thomas More Society, a national conservative not-for-profit law firm. (@meaccoleman)

Also Featured

Mary Ziegler, professor at Florida State University College of Law and a visiting professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School. (@maryrziegler)

Rebecca Doe, who experienced an almost fatal ectopic pregnancy in 2009.

Related Reading

Missouri Independent:Planned Parenthood sues Missouri social services agency over restricted Medicaid funds.” — “Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit alleges Missouri’s Department of Social Services unlawfully plans to restrict Medicaid payments.”

New York Times: “Anti-Abortion Groups Once Portrayed Women as Victims. That’s Changing.” — “With Roe v. Wade on thin ice, state legislatures are producing a wave of anti-abortion bills, some of them truly eye-popping.”

Washington Post: “Missouri lawmaker seeks to stop residents from obtaining abortions out of state” — “Abortion rights advocates say the measure is unconstitutional. But it could signal a new strategy by the antiabortion movement to extend influence beyond the conservative states poised to tighten restrictions if the Supreme Court overturns the landmark precedent protecting abortion rights.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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