The scene at Missouri’s last abortion clinic

Published June 26, 2022
Abortion rights activists protest outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court on Friday.—AFP
Abortion rights activists protest outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court on Friday.—AFP

ST. LOUIS: Standing outside what had been the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri on Friday, Pamela Lukehart choked back tears as she recalled how things were before the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision enshrining a woman’s right to the procedure.

“Women died getting abortions back then,” the 68-year-old said, her voice breaking as she stood alongside scores of other protesters.

“We were trying to protect women’s rights, women’s lives, and now they’ve taken all that away from us.” The conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Friday overturned its monumental decision in Roe v. Wade, putting an end to the federal right to abortions it established nearly 50 years ago.

The seismic ruling immediately triggered a wave of right-leaning states to impose new bans on the procedure — with Missouri being the first.

Less than two hours after the court’s decision, the state’s attorney general Eric Schmitt tweeted a photo of himself signing off on the prohibition, calling the occasion “a monumental day for the sanctity of life”.

The swift ban forced the Planned Parenthood clinic on St. Louis’ Forest Park Avenue -- which had been the last facility providing abortions in the state — to immediately stop offering the procedure.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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