JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A new bill calls on Missouri to repeal an abortion ban in connection with a 2019 statute.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) sponsors HB 544 to repeal a statute from a Missouri bill that took effect in 2019 and outlawed abortion in the state after six weeks of fetal development.

Last summer, Missouri banned elective abortions shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.

“State law now deprives Missourians of the right to make choices for themselves, their families, and their reproductive futures,” said Quade. “Physicians and health care providers have had to surrender their medical expertise to the interpretations of lawyers and the whims of politicians. Meanwhile, the women of Missouri suffer.”

Under the state’s current abortion law, abortions are only allowed if the mother faces a “medical emergency.” However, Quade says that interpretation is vague for healthcare providers, physicians, and hospital legal departments over what constitutes a medical emergency. 

“People will die if we continue to allow this horrific law to stand,” said Quade. “My bill will save lives and return dignity and freedom to reproductive health care in Missouri.”

Before pre-filing the legislation, Quade noted numerous studies that found a correlation between states with more restrictive laws on abortion and increased maternal mortality rates.

Missouri’s next legislative session begins Wednesday. FOX 2’s Emily Manley spoke with lawmakers from both major parties last week who are optimistic heading into the current legislative session.