What’s next for Missouri healthcare after abortion ban?

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Healthcare providers in Missouri tell News 4 they’re preparing for an increase in patients with reproductive needs after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, abortion is now illegal in Missouri due to a trigger law that immediately banned abortions in the state once Roe v. Wade was overturned.

CareSTL Health in St. Louis is one of the healthcare providers expecting an uptick in patients.

“We don’t offer abortion services here but as a center, we offer support as much as we can and will do all that we can provide any assistance in finding resources for them,” said Pamela Meanes, general counsel and chief compliance officer for CareSTL Health. “Women may not seem they have an option. Not only will our prenatal health care services and our care for pregnancy increase, but mental health services will increase as well.”

The nonprofit Midwest Access Coalition said if someone in Missouri needs help traveling to get an abortion, they should call or text its hotline and set up transportation, as well as accommodations, food, childcare, medication, emotional support and emergency contraception.

Abortion patients can reach out to the Midwest Access Coalition or call 847-750-6224.

The St. Louis County Department of Public Health announced in March it’s expanding its reproductive and sexual health care. The County said it serves about 1,500 patients in those areas every year.

The department of public health’s current reproductive and sexual health services include:

  • Annual exams
  • Screening for cancers
  • Mammograms
  • STI testing and treatment
  • HIV prevention services
  • Case management for certain STIs
  • WIC and nutrition appointments
  • Home visits to pregnant people, new parents, infants, and children up to 5
  • Pregnancy testing and counseling
  • Birth control and contraceptive education

“It further drives the gender equity gap,” said Leslie Gill, president of St. Louis-based nonprofit Rung for Women. “We won’t feel the impact for a little while just like COVID. If you’re just barely getting by day to day you don’t have the extra money to go to Illinois or other surrounding states.”

Abortion is still legal in Kansas and Illinois.