Parson Says No To Special Session On Abortion
Missouri's Republican Gov. Mike Parson won't call a special session to address questions about the state's new abortion ban, he said Thursday.
The Missouri law outlaws abortion except in medical emergencies and when necessary to save the life of the mother, but it’s unclear what medical issues qualify under that exemption.
Parson told KTVI that the issue is too complicated to be addressed during a special legislative session, which typically last days or at most weeks. Missouri's Republican-led Legislature returns for its regular session in January.
Democratic leaders earlier this week called for a special session to safeguard contraception and medical treatment for ectopic pregnancies in response to confusion around what is now legal. Parson and the state attorney general have said the law has no impact on access to contraception.
The state health department earlier this week also issued guidance that for the most part directs questioners to read Missouri laws on abortion and otherwise leaves it up to prosecutors to interpret.
“Bureaucrats and attorneys don’t need to be the ones deciding on what is life-threatening,” Parson said. “Doctors need to have a seat at that table, and frankly they’re more qualified to be able to make that decision than anybody else is."
Missouri House Democratic Leader Crystal Quade in a statement criticized Parson for not calling a special session or providing more clarity on the issue.
“Now, instead of bringing legal certainty to the right of Missourians to access and use birth control, the governor has opted to stick with vague assurances," she said.