ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) - A billboard on the side of Interstate 55 as you leave St. Louis and enter Illinois is getting nationwide attention.
The billboard says "Welcome to Illinois, where you can get a safe, legal abortion."
Hope Clinic for Women out of Granite City put up the billboard. This comes as Missouri lawmakers debate the "Unborn Act," a proposal which would ban abortions when a heart rate is detected.
“What they’re saying is what we’re saying, what’s going in Jefferson City has got to stop. These people are playing with people’s health and their lives," said Jessie Lawder, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
Lawder says Planned Parenthood fully supports Hope Clinic's billboard and the message he believes it sends to lawmakers.
Elizabeth Hill who volunteers with the group 'Students for Life of America' says the billboard may lead women to think their only option is Hope Clinic, which offers abortions up through 24 weeks.
"If you look at the United States, you’ll see that most people are against late term abortion, especially after a fetus can feel pain," said Hill. “I think women deserve more than Hope Clinic. I think we deserve better than Planned Parenthood and I think we deserve actual healthcare.”
Hope modeled its billboard after a similar message in Colorado. That billboard is set up along the state line of Utah, which has also placed restrictions on abortions.
Hope Clinic's billboard on I-55 will be up through at least mid-June. News 4 reached out to Hope Clinic Thursday for a comment about the billboard, but was told no one was available until Friday.