KEN MIDKIFF: The push to stop abortions may just backfire

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In case you have been asleep or just ignoring all the news (mostly bad), the Missouri state government folks, led by Gov. Mike Parson, are trying to close the last clinic in this state that offers abortions. The clinic in Columbia is no longer permitted to perform abortions for many of the same reasons that the one in St. Louis is facing.

On Friday, a judge in St. Louis allowed the clinic to continue to provide abortions, but the fight is far from over. Planned Parenthood claims, with justification, that the rules for a permit were specifically designed to close clinics and serve no other purpose.

This is in addition to the absolutely horrible bill that was, in the arcane language of the state legislature, “agreed to and finally passed.” This bill prohibits an abortion after eight weeks with no exemption for rape or incest.

The Missourian of this past Thursday carried an excellent editorial from The Kansas City Star, in which the editorial board of that newspaper alleged that closing the clinic is all a part of a “war on women” conducted by Parson and members of the ruling party in the House and Senate.

If that is true (that there is a war on women), the governor and his legislative cohorts appear to be winning.

But, a number of companies — possibly including Netflix — will no longer do business in Alabama as a result of the bill that absolutely prohibits the right of a woman to choose to end her pregnancy with no exemption for rape or incest.

Other than forcing a woman to give birth, she is — according to the Alabama law — not penalized if she chooses to have an abortion. However, in this truly dreadful law, the doctor who performs that abortion faces up to 99 years in prison.

Georgia, which passed a bill that prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, also faces a number of film companies’ statements to avoid the state. That includes Disney and Netflix, among others.

There is general agreement by national media that the states that have essentially outlawed a woman’s right to choose have overreached and that the U.S. Supreme Court will find these laws in conflict with Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court will declare them null and void.

However, that is simply an opinion that could easily be wrong.

What is really needed is to show the governor and his supporters that Missouri will lose revenue as companies and individuals opt out of doing business in this state.

They have shown that they don’t care for the views of women or what happens when these women get unsafe and illegal abortions. Apparently, their choice is between no abortions or dead women, and they have made their choice.

Already, there have been some indications that this state will suffer. Recently, a young woman informed the Office of Admissions at Washington University in St. Louis to please remove her name as she did not want to come to a state that did not respect her rights as a woman.

She wrote a letter to the editor about this that was printed in The New York Times a few days ago.

Perhaps when other potential out-of-state young people also avoid becoming students in this state that does not respect women’s rights and large companies (GM: are you listening?) take their business — and employees — elsewhere will Parson and his mostly male supporters realize the error they have made.

And then there are all those state employees and others who depend upon state revenue (MU employees: Are you listening?) for their salaries from a group of apparent Neanderthals in state government. When there is a revolt, perhaps then the ugly law that more or less prohibits abortions will be repealed.

If not, then there’s already a citizen petition to put on the ballot asking for a vote to negate the law. And, as usual, when the legislature acts in opposition to the views of a vast majority of citizens, the public can and will represent itself.

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