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ST LOUIS — Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri released the following statement in response to the Circuit Court of Cole County’s decision today certifying the official ballot title for several ballot initiatives related to reproductive health care.

Statement from Yamelsie Rodríguez, president and CEO, of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri:

“For decades, Missouri politicians have held hostage the right to reproductive freedom. Long before Dobbs, anti-abortion Missouri politicians created policies that increased government interference in abortion access — so much so that the right to abortion was in name only. Mounting restrictions — such as state-mandated medically inaccurate information, forced waiting periods, invasive and unnecessary internal body exams, and more — left the state with only one abortion provider, providing only a handful of abortions a month.

“As that sole abortion provider, we saw how our state’s most marginalized communities — young people, people who are financially insecure or rely on public insurance, Black and brown people, and transgender and gender-expansive communities — bear the brunt of harmful policies and face the most barriers to quality care. 

“Now, as a path to building abortion access becomes clearer, Planned Parenthood recommits to centering those communities — and not just rebuilding the same system that left so many behind. Planned Parenthood stands ready to work with partners to build meaningful, lasting, and equitable abortion access for all Missourians."