Missouri Attorney General is again asked to clarify birth control
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Missouri Democratic Representative and Minority Caucus Floor Leader Crystal Quade has sent a second letter asking the Missouri Attorney General to issue an official opinion on contraception.
Quade says, without clear guidance, “there remains a heighted risk a prosecutor with political or ideological motives could bring malicious charges against Missourians over birth control.”
Attorney General Eric Schmitt is being asked to write a formal interpretation of H.B. 126 and the related statutes, and how he intends to enforce them.
H.B. 126 is Missouri’s new abortion law, which bans abortion except in cases of medical emergency.
Doctors and hospitals have expressed confusion over what will be considered a medical emergency and if certain contraceptives are allowed under the new law. Confusion led to a Kansas City area health system suspending the use of Plan B for rape survivors for a brief period of time.
Schmitt did clarify in a statement that Plan B and contraception are allowed under the law.
However, patients and doctors still question if some medications and IUDs are still legal. The main mechanism for those is to delay ovulation or prevent sperm from reaching the egg if it is released, but some can also prevent fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus.
Missouri’s governor previously asked the Department of Health and Senior Services for clarification. It simply provided a link to a one-page, four-question document: Regulation of Missouri Abortion Facilities — Frequently Asked Questions.
In the document, the DHSS says while the department regulates abortion facilities to ensure patient safety, the enforcement of the criminal provision are up to law enforcement, prosecutors and Missouri Attorney General’s office.
KCTV5 reached out to the Missouri Attorney General’s office and we are waiting for a response.
Quade questions if Schmitt should be seeking higher office if he can’t manage the duties of his current office.
Democratic lawmakers have called for a special session to clear up confusion. Last week, Governor Mike Parson said that won’t happen because it’s too complicated for a special session.
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