If approved, Missouri women may be able to access funding help to cover expenses associated with traveling to receive an abortion. The bill will also help pay for other reproductive services such as doulas and location and postpartum services
Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr., plans to provide $1 million in funds for women who seek out of state reproductive health services.
Although the funds are not directly used for abortions, it can help cover travel expenses, lodging, and childcare.
If approved by the Jackson County Legislature, the County Executive’s Reproductive Equity Fund would also provide support for organizations which are already providing reproductive healthcare access in the region like lactation support, doulas and postpartum support.
“As elected leaders, it is our responsibility to take action when our community is in danger and it is clear that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has created a major health crisis in Jackson County,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “The Jackson County Reproductive Equity Fund will provide support for women of all ages and circumstances, including victims of rape and incest who are now legally forbidden from terminating the pregnancy of their assailant.”
With the event of overturning Roe v. Wade this summer, Missouri has criminalized abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest. In August, most of the Jackson County Legislature rejected placing an advisory referendum on the November ballot to ask voters if they think Missouri’s abortion ban should be repealed to ensure safe and legal access to abortion.
The proposed measure would have provided an opportunity for voters to inform elected officials about their position on the issue.
White disagrees with the belief that abortion is not a local government issue.
“It is extremely important that we all, especially those of us elected to serve our communities, step up and do everything we can to provide the support necessary, while also working to ensure that reproductive health services are once again legal, safe, accessible and affordable in Jackson County.”
“County Executive White is absolutely right – cities, counties and states are now the battlegrounds for reproductive equity and maternal health.” said Jalen Anderson, 1st District At-Large Legislator, who supports and is a co-sponsor of the Reproductive Equity Fund in Jackson County.
“Once established, the fund will help Jackson County provide the support that so many women now need, while also helping to reduce the damage done to our community by the obliteration of Roe.”