A huge pro-life victory in St. Louis, Missouri will have public fund going to where they need to be, instead of killing babies in abortions.
As LifeNews reported earlier this year, Missouri pro-life advocates celebrated another victory for life when a judge blocked the city of St. Louis from forcing taxpayers to support killing unborn babies in abortions.
St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Jason Sengheiser blocked the city from spending $1.75 million in federal COVID-19 relief money on a new pro-abortion program, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“[Friday] was a momentous day for women and their unborn children as Missouri courts upheld state law standing for the sanctity of life,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey responded Saturday in a statement. “As long as I’m attorney general, my office will continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the unborn. Our children are worth the fight.”
Bailey’s office sued the City of St. Louis last year after its Democrat leaders voted to create the Reproductive Equity Fund. The new program, run by the city health department, provides logistical support to help women travel to other states for elective abortions.
Casey Millburg, the mayor’s policy director, detailed the proposed uses in a committee hearing yesterday, which would include $500,000 toward maternal health support and $800,000 to medical debt forgiveness.
Milburg said the money for maternal health support would allow the city’s Department of Health to build a more robust suite of services to lower the city’s abysmal maternal mortality rate.
“The intended approach is to utilize a combination of education, screening and treatment to support moms and babies, [and] maternal health education workshops for fathers…” Millburg said.
As far as medical debt forgiveness, Millburg said $800,000 could be leveraged to wipe approximately $100,000,000 in medical debt for potentially 20,000 city residents.
Missouri law protects unborn babies by banning elective abortions as well as taxpayer-funded abortions. The abortion ban went into effect last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Samuel H. Lee of Campaign Life Missouri said both of the judge’s decisions were victories for life.
“Missouri law is clear that tax dollars cannot be used to perform or assist abortions – whether in Missouri or out of state,” Lee responded. “And Missouri law has never recognized a ‘religious’ right to abortion. We are grateful that a St. Louis judge has issued sensible rulings upholding both innocent life and the rule of law.”
In 1986, Missouri passed a law that prohibits the use of public funds, facilities and employees “for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion, not necessary to save the life of the mother, or for the purpose of encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life.”
Additionally, a 2019 law makes clear that “the intention of the general assembly of the state of Missouri [is] to … Defend the right to life of all humans, born and unborn [and] Declare that the state and all of its political subdivisions are a ‘sanctuary of life’ that protects pregnant women and their unborn children.”
State lawmakers and pro-life advocates also have been working to increase support for pregnant and parenting families, including a new campaign to raise awareness about the resources available to help mothers choose life for their unborn babies.
Since the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling last summer, many states have begun enforcing pro-life laws. Currently, 18 states have laws that protect unborn babies from abortion, but some are blocked in on-going court battles.
These laws are saving lives. Estimates vary, but a recent report from the Society of Family Planning found that abortions dropped by about 24,000 nationwide from July 2022 to March 2023. Additional research shows the Texas Heartbeat Act resulted in about 1,000 more babies being born every month in Texas.
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