The state allows Medicaid to finance abortions

In Missouri, women who want an abortion must overcome a series of obstacles, including a waiting period comprising 72 hours. Women “who don’t want to deal with Missouri’s frustrating regulations” drive over the state line to Granite City, Illinois, a ten minute drive from St. Louis, to the Hope Clinic for Women. The Hope Clinic for Women has purchased a billboard proclaiming “Welcome to Illinois, where you can get a safe, legal abortion.” Alison Dreith, who works as the coordinator for media relations at Hope Clinic, said the organization wants to take advantage of the billboard to highlight the stark realities separating Missouri and Illinois.

The billboard is a new one for Hope Clinic. The idea and messaging for such a display came when Hope personnel saw several news reports concerning an interesting billboard in Colorado. The billboard read “Welcome to Colorado, where you can get a safe, legal abortion.” The clinic soon learned that the billboard in Colorado was conceptualized and made into reality by the progressive advocacy group ProgressNow Colorado. The billboard was positioned just a little distance away from the Utah-Colorado border. Abortion access is an issue in Utah as well.

According to Dreith, the employees working in Hope Clinic for Women loved the Colorado billboard. It also reminded them of the similarity with their situation. The abortion clinic is located only ten minutes away from central St. Louis and frequently receives patients who are reluctant to comply with the complex regulations present on Missouri state. The clinic decided to replicate the Colorado signboard in Illinois.

Hope Clinic soon applied and received permission from the advocacy organization ProgressNow Colorado. They promptly acted on it, positioning the billboard on the Interstate-55/64. Dreith made it clear Illinois is not throwing shade towards Missouri as the matter is too much severe for that. Missouri laws make it one of the strictest states to get an abortion. Patients who want the procedure suffer not only financial damage but get taxed emotionally too. Missouri is now even trying to make the process much harder. Lawmakers in Missouri state are moving forward to concoct a law which will ban abortions after six weeks of conception, a period when most women are unaware of their pregnancy. Illinois, in contrast, has always been seen as a progressive abortion rights state. House Bill 40 even permits Medicaid funds to finance abortions.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter