Missouri Democrats call for special session, say new abortion law creates confusion

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, Missouri’s “trigger law” went into effect.

The law effectively banning abortion is now in effect. However, it’s not as simple as it may seem. There is still a lot of confusion over the law, issues like Plan B, and just what constitutes a medical emergency.

There’s enough confusion to spur Missouri Democratic lawmakers to call for a special session seeking clarification. They’ve sent an open letter to Governor Mike Parson asking for the special session.

“Missouri needs to clarify its laws to save lives, to protect access to birth control, and allow doctors to provide necessary medical care,” said Missouri State Senator Lauren Arthur. She is a Democrat representing District 17, which includes Kansas City.

The letter to the Governor points out there will already be a special session for income tax cuts and this law needs attention.

“Medical providers and legal experts across Missouri have expressed concern and confusion...
“Medical providers and legal experts across Missouri have expressed concern and confusion regarding the legality of certain types of contraception and the definition of medical emergency as it relates to ectopic pregnancies.”(Graphic by KCTV5 News)

The governor himself has conceded there needs to be clarity on some issues.

Senator Arthur said lawmakers need to make sure there is no room for interpretation in this law.

“This shouldn’t be considered political,” said Arthur. “I’m hearing from doctors and constituents and healthcare providers and administrators, Republicans and Democrats, who say that there is ambiguity and that any law that may endanger a patient is worth revisiting. I think we can agree that these are pretty non-controversial topics and that the legislature has a responsibility to fix.”

KCTV5 has asked for clarification from the Department of Health and Human Services as viewers have reached out with questions.

We heard from a woman wondering if IUDs are okay. A spokesperson from the department responded: “Discussions are underway here to determine if any changes need to be made to our regulatory forms, processes and rules. We understand there are a lot of questions surrounding this topic and will provide more clarification as soon as we are able.”