CITY HALL – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has given initial approval to the establishment of a $1 million fund to help St. Louis women get abortions in other states in the wake of a near-total abortion ban in Missouri that went into effect June 24.
The measure, passed Friday, would allocate federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for transportation, child care and other logistical help for women who travel to states where abortion remains legal. A vote on final passage is set for this week.
Alderman Joe Vaccaro opposed the plan and called it a political stunt that would tie up some of the city’s pandemic aid funds in a lengthy court fight.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has already said he will sue to try to block the measure and another proposed in Kansas City to use city employee health insurance to help with employee travel for out-of-state abortions.
Schmitt, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt, said the St. Louis ordinance would violate a state law barring public money from being used to perform or assist an abortion not needed to save the life of the mother.
Supporters say the money would be used only to provide access to abortion.