AP

St. Louis to help women get out-of-state abortion access

Jul 22, 2022, 11:34 AM | Updated: 3:51 pm

FILE - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis on Aug. ...

FILE - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks during a news conference in St. Louis on Aug. 6, 2020. Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Thursday, July 21, 2022, filed suit to halt a new St. Louis measure, signed into law earlier that day by Mayor Tishaura Jones, that provides $1 million to help women get out-of-state abortions. Missouri is among several states that banned most abortion procedures after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

St. Louis has joined the growing list of Democrat-led cities seeking to help women gain abortion access, even in red states that have largely banned the procedure.

Not long after Democratic Mayor Tishaura Jones on Thursday signed a measure providing $1 million for travel to abortion clinics in other states, Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued to stop what he called a “blatantly illegal move to spend Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars on out-of-state abortions.”

The give-and-take is emblematic of city versus state battles playing out across the U.S. since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade prompted several states, including Missouri, to ban most abortion procedures. The Missouri law prohibits abortions except in a medical emergency.

Democrat-led local government leaders in otherwise conservative states have fought back.

Like St. Louis, the city of Cleveland plans to help with logistics costs. Mayor Justin Bibb announced this week that he’s working with the City Council on legislation to create a $100,000 “Reproductive Freedom Fund” to help pay for travel and lodging for Cleveland residents and city employees seeking a legal abortion in another state.

In Ohio’s capital on Friday, Columbus City Council members announced proposals including a $1 million “Education and Access Fund” to help cover costs for abortion access for city residents, including transportation, child care and lost wages, and to “bolster community education regarding safe and legal reproductive health care choices.” They plan to vote on the measure Monday.

Days after the Supreme Court decision, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said the city would provide travel reimbursement for city employees who have to leave Ohio for abortions. The City Council in Kansas City, Missouri, approved a similar plan, also in June. Schmitt has threatened to sue Kansas City, too.

City councils in places such as Austin, Texas, and Nashville have passed measures urging law enforcement not to prioritize abortion ban enforcement, and other cities are weighing similar proposals.

In Louisiana, members of the State Bond Commission voted this week to withhold a $39 million non-cash line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board power plant project as a way to “send a message” to city leaders who said they would not enforce the statewide abortion ban.

Attorney General Jeff Landry had urged denial of the financing and said in a written statement that the commission “forced elected officials in New Orleans to decide if they will enforce State law.”

The St. Louis law calls for using federal COVID-19 relief money for a “Reproductive Equity Fund.” The funding is part of a larger health care package that also offers postpartum support, lactation help, doula assistance and money for COVID-19 testing and vaccine incentives.

Jones said during a news conference prior to signing the bill that she expected a lawsuit from Schmitt, who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in the Aug. 2 primary, and who has filed dozens of lawsuits ranging from efforts to halt mask mandates in schools to a suit against China over the coronavirus.

“I will not back down when our opponents threaten, bully or demean our city, especially the attorney general, who’s more concerned about chasing clout than care,” Jones said.

Schmitt said in a news release that the St. Louis measure violates the state law that makes it “unlawful for any public funds to be expended for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion, not necessary to save the life of the mother, or for the purpose of encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life.”

Missouri had just one abortion clinic at the time of the ban, a Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis. Two abortion clinics operate in the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, and two clinics operate in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb.

___

Associated Press writers Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, and Geoff Mulvihill in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incid...

Associated Press

American Airlines CEO calls removal of Black passengers from Phoenix flight ‘unacceptable’

American Airlines put an unspecified number of employees on leave for their involvement in an incident in which several Black passengers were removed from a flight in Phoenix.

3 days ago

FILE - Crystal Baziel holds the Pan-African flag Monday, June 19, 2023, during Reedy Chapel A.M.E C...

Associated Press

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

For more than one-and-a-half centuries, the Juneteenth holiday has been sacred to many Black communities. It marks the day in 1865 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas found out they had been freed — after the end of the Civil War, and two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Since it was designated a federal […]

5 days ago

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

9 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

10 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

13 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

St. Louis to help women get out-of-state abortion access