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Missouri and Illinois political leaders react to overturning of Roe V. Wade

Elected officials and candidates in Missouri and Illinois responded to the ruling Friday.

ST. LOUIS — The Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade prompted swift and emotional responses from local lawmakers and leaders.

Here is how statewide lawmakers in Missouri and Illinois and representatives in the St. Louis area reacted to the ending of a constitutional right to abortion.

Missouri leaders

Gov. Mike Parson

"BREAKING: Missouri has become the first state in the nation to effectively end abortions. In response to today's SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, I have signed a proclamation activating the "Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act," ending elective abortions in the State," Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt shared a thread of tweets following the decision Friday morning.

"Today is a historic day, but we also remember over 60 million innocent lives lost. There was a lot of work behind the scenes before we achieved this incredible victory. Here are some of our efforts to protect all, including the unborn.

"Missouri joined a coalition of 24 states in filing an amicus brief in Dobbs v. Mississippi Department of Health. The amicus briefs asked the court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.  

"In April of 2021, Missouri joined a 20-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in the 8th Circuit defending Arkansas’ ban on gruesome and heinous live-dismemberment abortions. 

"In May of 2021, Missouri led a coalition of 22 states in filing an amicus brief in support of an Arkansas law that would prohibit abortions solely based on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. 

"In 2019, The provision of HB126 that prohibited abortions based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis. MO  appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and that appeal was denied. However, in a rare move, the Court granted an en banc review. 

"We then presented oral arguments in front of the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals en banc to defend Missouri’s law that prohibits abortions based solely on a pre-natal Down syndrome diagnosis. We are still awaiting a decision. 

"In November 2021, Missouri joined a 17-state coalition in filing an amicus brief to defend Arizona’s law prohibiting abortion because of genetic abnormalities before the Ninth Circuit. Many parents can feel pressured to abort because of diagnostic test results. 

"Missouri joined 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting South Carolina’s defense of Fetal Heartbeat Law which limits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. 

"Since taking office, I have always fought to protect the unborn. Because of our action today, millions of lives will be protected moving forward."

READ MORE: Missouri and abortions post-Roe: What you need to know

Sen. Josh Hawley

"This is a momentous day in America, when the efforts of generations of modern-day abolitionists comes to fruition. One of the most unjust decisions in American history has been overturned," Sen. Hawley tweeted.

Rep. Cori Bush

"Abortion care IS health care. It was so before this. And it will remain so after this. We don’t care what a far-right extremist Supreme Court that is in a crisis of legitimacy says. Your racist, sexist, classist ruling won’t stop us from accessing the care we need," Rep. Bush tweeted.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer

“The Supreme Court is charged with interpreting the law, not writing it. However, in Roe v. Wade, the Court inappropriately established law in the United States making abortion legal. In the decades that followed, that misguided decision took the lives of millions of innocent babies. This morning’s decision restores the Constitutional rights of our citizens and the legislative process. More importantly, it will protect millions of children from having their lives ended before they can live the life God intended.

“Today is a great day, not just for pro-life Americans, but for everyone who believes in the rights of the innocent, the protection of the vulnerable, and the miracle of life,” Rep. Luetkemeyer shared in a statement on Twitter.

Rep. Jason Smith

"Today marks an historic moment in the decades-long fight to protect the unborn. The Court’s decision makes clear that the Constitution gives state legislatures – not unelected judges – the freedom to answer the question of when life begins. 

"I’m incredibly grateful to the generations of Americans who have dedicated so much to defending the unborn. But the fight to protect life isn’t over, as Liberal Democrats are more determined than ever to force their pro-abortion agenda on communities across the U.S. 

"Dangerous rhetoric by leaders on the left, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, has led to violent attacks against pregnancy centers and nearly resulted in the assassination of a Supreme Court Justice. 

"What we need right now is for our leaders to urge acceptance of this decision and make it abundantly clear that our nation – founded on the principle of free speech - will not tolerate any acts of violence against those with different beliefs," Rep. Smith said in a series of tweets.

Rep. Ann Wagner

Congresswoman Ann Wagner spoke about the decision during a news conference. You can watch her full remarks here.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones

"Abortion is healthcare, and it should be safe and accessible to all who need it. Missourians have already been living in a post-Roe reality, & St. Louisans will take action to protect our rights until Congress does what it should have done decades ago: codify Roe into law. 

"If you’re a Democratic leader who has somehow stayed silent on abortion rights, it’s far past time for you to speak out and join us in this fight. As mayor, I will fight like hell to protect reproductive healthcare and get St. Louis families the support they need," Mayor Jones wrote in a series of tweets.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page

"Rolling back Roe triggers a major public health crisis in Missouri, where our state legislature has already discussed some of the most extreme laws in the country. Abortion should be legal, safe, accessible, and affordable.

"Therefore, our health department will consult with every abortion provider and use every resource of St. Louis County government to ensure County employees and residents have access to the services they need to stay healthy.

"In March 2022, I signed an Executive Order, EO #19, expanding access to the reproductive services offered by St. Louis County. Our Department of Health has also worked to ramp up reproductive health services with a focus on making sure resources are distributed in a way that addresses racial disparities," County Executive Page said in an emailed statement.

Illinois leaders

Gov. JB Pritzker

"To the right wing officeholders who today are cheering the Supreme Court’s ruling: GET YOUR IRON BOOT OFF WOMEN’S NECKS!" Gov. Pritzker wrote in a tweet.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul

“#SCOTUS confirms what many of us have feared for weeks, but especially women across the country who today see the rights they have held for 50 years eliminated,” Attorney General Raoul tweeted.

READ MORE: Abortions still legal in Illinois after Roe v. Wade overturned

Sen. Tammy Duckworth

“I am outraged and horrified—this outcome is a nightmare that robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades.

“Millions of families—including my own—have relied on Roe v. Wade for almost 50 years. The Justices who claimed Roe was “settled law,” but then turned around and ruled otherwise, will—as Justice Sotomayor said—"struggle to survive the stench" of this extreme decision.

“In a nation with a growing maternal mortality crisis and often inaccessible healthcare, without affordable child care or universal paid leave, forcing births on anyone—even when the mother’s life could be at risk—is not only cruel, it will also be a death sentence.

“Doctors working in states where abortion, or even management of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, is outlawed could even be threatened with prison for daring to save a patient’s life. Victims of rape could be forced to relive their trauma every day.

“I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had.

Now is the time for the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income,” Sen. Duckworth said in a twitter thread.

Sen. Dick Durbin

“Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.

“The bottom line: on critical, personal choices involving a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions about her own body, do you trust her or the gov't? The Supreme Court now says a woman’s right to privacy does not extend to the most personal, private choice she'll ever face.

“@JudiciaryDems will explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America in a hearing next month. The Court’s decision to erase the right to an abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care services, but also criminal consequences for women & health care…

“...providers in states eager to embrace draconian restrictions. I will keep fighting to enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. We cannot let our children inherit a nation that is less free and more dangerous than the one their parents grew up in,” Sen. Durbin said in a twitter thread. 

Rep. Mike Bost

“The issue of life is one that’s very personal to my wife, Tracy, and me; it’s the reason we got involved in politics nearly 40 years ago.

“I agree wholeheartedly with the Supreme Court’s decision to restore power to the American people to determine for themselves how abortion services are regulated in their state. It’s a historic decision that will help save the lives of countless innocent unborn children.

“As liberals in Illinois and Washington undoubtedly push forward with their abortion on-demand agenda, I’ll keep fighting to protect the lives of the unborn,” Rep Bost said in a twitter thread.

Rep. Rodney Davis

“This is a historic and incredible day for Life and the unborn in America, a day that all of us in the pro-life movement have been praying for and working towards. The Supreme Court was absolutely right to overturn previous, wrongly-decided abortion decisions.

"Nothing in the Constitution confers the right to an abortion. As a pro-life lawmaker with a 100 percent pro-life voting record, I have advocated for years that the Court overturn Roe.

"Now that the Supreme Court has turned this issue over to the people’s elected representatives, our pro-life work continues. We must elect pro-life leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure we advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn.

"Nowhere is this more important than IL, where J.B. Pritzker and Dems in Springfield have advanced an extreme abortion expansion agenda that legalized taxpayer-funded, late-term abortions, and even restricted parents’ abilities to know if their minor child is seeking an abortion.

"This is an extreme abortion agenda that is out-of-step with the people of Illinois. I will continue to work tirelessly to advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn in Washington and in Springfield,” Rep. Davis said in a twitter thread.

Rep. Mary Miller

“A joyous victory for Life! The end of Roe is the beginning of a new chapter, where we embrace a culture of life with a reverence for God's children. I applaud President Trump, who delivered on his promise of a Court that would honor the Constitution and our sacred right to life.

“Please join me in praying for all the unborn victims of Roe v. Wade and for the women who have been deceived by the cruel abortion industry. I look forward to always defending life in Congress, and I will never stop using my voice to speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,” Rep. Miller said in a twitter thread.

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