Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued the city of St. Louis on Thursday for passing a bill that would provide financial assistance to women traveling across state lines for an abortion.
The lawsuit asserts St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and the city’s Board of Aldermen’s Board Bill 61 violated Missouri Revised Statutes prohibiting the use of public funds, employees and facilities to cover costs incurred for abortions.
Today we filed a suit against the city of St Louis’ blatantly illegal move to spend Missourians’ hard-tax dollars on out-of-state abortions.
— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) July 21, 2022
“The City’s use of public funds, public employees, and public facilities to encourage and assist abortion violates the Missouri General Assembly’s determination ‘that the state and all of its political subdivisions are a ‘sanctuary of life’ that protects pregnant women and their unborn children,'” the lawsuit claims.
The Missouri AG also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the allocated money from being used until after the court’s decision if the bill violates state law, according to a statement. (RELATED: Louisiana Attorney General Attempting To Withhold Funds From New Orleans For Defying State’s Abortion Ban)
Schmitt argues in the preliminary injunction that Jones and the Board of Aldermen’s bill “explicitly provides that public funds, public employees, and public facilities will be used to encourage abortion and assist women in obtaining abortions,” which “is plainly illegal under Sections 188.205, 188.210, and 188.215 of Missouri’s Revised Statutes.”
Jones signed Board Bill 61 on July 21, creating the Reproductive Equity Fund (Fund) with over a million dollars of public money, including $1.5 million from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund and $250,000 of ARPA funds, according to the injunction.
“As Attorney General, I’ve tirelessly fought to uphold the sanctity of life in Missouri,” Schmitt said in his statement. “The move by the City of St. Louis to use taxpayer dollars to help push out-of-state abortions plainly and clearly violates Missouri law. My Office today filed suit to put a stop to Mayor Jones and the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s blatantly illegal move to spend Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars on out-of-state abortions.”