June 24, 2022
(SAINT LOUIS)— Immediately following the Supreme Court ‘s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued an opinion that triggered Missouri’s House Bill 126, effectively ending abortion in the state. In a statement released Friday at 9:22 a.m., minutes after the Supreme Court opinion was made public, Schmitt claimed that “Missouri is the first state in the country to do so.”
Thirteen states have similar trigger laws. Along with Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota put their trigger laws into effect today, according to NBC news. Mississippi and North Dakota confirmed they have not yet enacted theirs, and Utah and Wyoming have not yet said. Idaho, Tennessee and Texas all will have a slight delay in implementation.
HB126, the Missouri abortion bill that passed in 2019, states in section 188.017, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency.” The law provides no exception for rape or incest.
Because of the “trigger” function written in the law, enacting it required the attorney general to notify the revisor of statutes with an opinion.
“My concerns are infinite,” former federal prosecutor and current civil rights and immigration lawyer Javad Khazaeli told The Click. “In the short term, Roe is eviscerated. Abortion is now illegal in many states.”
Working on civil rights issues, Khazaeli is concerned that lack of regard for precedent in the Dobbs opinion could signal further erosion of civil rights in Missouri and across the country.
“We have six justices who think the most important thing when it comes to making a decision about social issues is what would have been decided in the late 1700s. I think the next thing you’ll see on the chopping block will be gay marriage, and I imagine contraception is next,” Khazaeli said.
For others in Missouri, today was a joyful day.
“Today we celebrate and then we go back to work to protect unborn babies and women from the abortion industry,” said Steve Rupp, president of Missouri Right to Life in a statement on organization’s website.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson echoed these sentiments in a tweet, saying “Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for.”
The law is expected to go into effect immediately.