Federalism is alive and well: Missouri AG issues opinion ending abortion

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Jun 24, 2022, 09:22 AM by AG Schmitt

Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in Dobbs that overturns Roe v. Wade, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt today issued an opinion to the Missouri Revisor of Statutes that “triggers” parts of Missouri’s House Bill 126, effectively ending abortion in the State of Missouri. Missouri is the first state in the country to do so.

“Today, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, with the issuance of an attorney general opinion, my Office has yet again reinforced Missouri’s dedication to protecting the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion. I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn.”

Section B of HB126 states, “The enactment of section 188.017 of this act shall only become effective upon notification to the revisor of statutes by an opinion by the attorney general of Missouri…” 

And Section 188.017 that is “triggered” by an attorney general’s opinion states, in part, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency…”

Thus, with the opinion from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, abortion, except in cases of medical emergency, is now outlawed in the State of Missouri. 

The opinion states, “By issuing this Attorney General Opinion No. 22-2022 and providing it directly to you, I hereby provide notification to the Revisor of Statutes, pursuant to § 188.017.4(1), that the United States Supreme Court has overruled, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), restoring or granting to the state of Missouri the authority to regulate abortion to the extent set forth in § 188.017, RSMo, and that as a result, it is reasonably probable that § 188.017 would be upheld by the court as constitutional.”

The full opinion can be found here:

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