St. Luke’s locations resume offering emergency contraception following Missouri abortion ban

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:28 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 3:38 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - After initially stating its Missouri hospitals would not provide emergency contraception following last week’s state abortion ban, St. Luke’s Health System stated it will resume offering the service “under new protocols.”

The hospital system, based in Kansas City, confirmed to KCTV5 News on Tuesday night it was making the move to protect its doctors from liability and any potential criminal prosecution.

But after reviewing information from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, which said state “law does not prohibit the use or provision of Plan B, or contraception,” the health system reversed course.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down Roe vs. Wade, a 1973 decision that established the federal right to an abortion.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse that ruling kicks the decision down to individual states to determine how restrictive or relaxed their abortion policies should be. Several states, including Missouri, had “trigger laws” in effect to severely restrict or ban abortion in the case of a Roe vs. Wade reversal.

Missouri makes an abortion exception for the health of the mother but otherwise bans abortion procedures. Friday’s Supreme Court ruling did not change any laws or policies in Kansas, as the Kansas Supreme Court decided two years ago that a right to an abortion is covered by its state constitution. That could change in August when Kansans get the option to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment nullifying the state Supreme Court’s decision. That could open the door for the state legislature to pass abortion restrictions or an abortion ban.