Missouri becomes first US state to ban abortion after Supreme Court ruling

Several states begin to limit abortion access after historic court decision

People demonstrate outside the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Missouri, in May. Missourian / AP
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Missouri on Friday became the first US state to outlaw abortion after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, a 1973 ruling that federally protected the right to abortion.

Abortion access also ended in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.

A few of the states have exceptions in the cases of rape, incest or for the safety of the mother, while others ban abortion outright.

“Following the [Supreme Court of the United States] ruling overturning Roe v Wade, Missouri has just become the first in the country to effectively end abortion with our [attorney general] opinion signed moments ago,” Missouri's Attorney General Eric Schmitt said on Twitter.

“This is a monumental day for the sanctity of life.”

Missouri's Republican Governor Mike Parson said in a statement: "We are happy that the US Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions.

"Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for.

"Today, we have won our fight to protect innocent life."

Missouri's law creates criminal liability for abortion providers, but establishes protections for women who receive abortions from criminal prosecutions.

President Joe Biden spoke out against the court's decision.

“State laws banning abortion are automatically taking effect today — jeopardising the health of millions of women, some without exceptions.”

Friday's ruling effectively gave US states the right to make their own decisions on abortion rights.

“Since taking office, I have always fought to protect the unborn. Because of our action today, millions of lives will be protected moving forward,” Mr Schmitt said in another tweet on Friday.

More than a dozen states across the US have passed so-called trigger legislation that will introduce abortion ban laws within 30 days of the Supreme Court decision.

These include Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Texas, for example, has a trigger law that will ban all abortions 30 days from Friday.

However, The Texas Tribune reported that clinics are ending their services after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that services could violate an abortion law in place before Roe v Wade in 1973, leading to possible criminal prosecutions.

Former vice president Mike Pence called on every US state to pass an abortion ban.

“Having been given this second chance for life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the centre of American law in every state in the land,” the possible Republican 2024 presidential candidate said.

Updated: June 24, 2022, 9:59 PM
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