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Missouri’s final abortion clinic draws protesters decrying the ban – International News News – Report by AFR

Pamela Lukehart stood outside the last remaining abortion clinic in Missouri on Friday, fighting back tears as she recalled how things were before the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to the procedure.

“Women died during abortions back then,” the 68-year-old told the AFP news agency. Her voice cracked as she stood alongside scores of other protesters.

“We were trying to protect women’s rights and women’s lives, and now they’ve taken it all away from us.”

The Conservative-dominated Supreme Court on Friday overturned its monumental decision in the Roe v. Wade, ending the federal abortion law he introduced almost 50 years ago.

The seismic verdict immediately triggered a wave of right-wing states, most notably Missouri, outlawing the trial again.

Less than two hours after the court decision, Attorney General Eric Schmitt tweeted a photo of himself signing the ban, calling the occasion “a monumental day for the sanctity of life.”

The quick ban forced the Planned Parenthood clinic on Forest Park Avenue in St. Louis — the last facility to offer abortions in the state — to immediately drop the case.

“It’s tragic for me today because we fought so hard to get this legislation passed in 1973,” said Lukehart, who was joined by her granddaughter Audrey at the protest outside the Planned Parenthood Clinic.

“Now, 50 years later, they’ve snatched that from us. That’s wrong. It’s totally wrong,” she said.

– “We can’t watch” –

While conservative Midwestern Missouri was the first state to ban abortion after the ruling, it wasn’t the last.

As of Friday night, at least six other states had imposed bans: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Indiana also announced it is taking steps to do the same, and abortion providers in Wisconsin said the procedure is now banned there as well.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in St. Louis after the ban, chanting “My body, my choice” and carrying signs with slogans such as “Abortion is Healthcare.”

Addressing the crowd through a megaphone, one speaker said: “We cannot stand by and see our rights taken from us.”

Back at the Planned Parenthood clinic, protester Alec Ryan, 31, said the new abortion bans would have tangible consequences.

“So there will be women and pregnant people who are trapped in abusive marriages because they can’t get an abortion. There will be people who will be put in situations they shouldn’t be put in,” he told AFP.

“It’s going to be a tragedy.”

Linda Locke, who sits on the board of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, is concerned about the impact of Friday’s decision on younger generations.

“I have granddaughters, right?” She said. “And they all grew up believing that their bodies were under their control. And today, for me, it’s just shocking and disappointing that the Supreme Court just told them, ‘No, you don’t… We don’t trust you make decisions about your own body.'”

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