JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri is slated to ban most abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court undoes Roe v. Wade, as a draft opinion leaked late Monday suggests.
Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday said he will take immediate action to allow an abortion ban to take effect if the landmark ruling is overturned.
“If we’re successful and Roe v. Wade is overturned, I’m prepared to immediately issue the opinion that would protect the unborn in Missouri,” Schmitt said.
The GOP-led Legislature passed the abortion ban in 2019 in hopes that the 1973 ruling would later be tossed out.
Under the 2019 law, abortions would only be allowed to save the life of the mother. Performing an illegal abortion would be a felony punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison.
Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, in a statement said abortion is currently legal in Missouri and said patients should still show up for their appointments.
“No matter what, with our partners, we will fight for what little is left of abortion access in Missouri and push forward to expand in Illinois where abortion access is protected beyond Roe,” Rodríguez said.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft opinion. He ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”
In the high court's first public comment since the draft was published late Tuesday, Roberts said “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
In a statement, he said, “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed.”