Missouri AG Threatens to Punish Areas Using Tax Money on Abortions

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Friday threatened to sue parts of his state—including St. Louis and Kansas City—if they use public funds to help people receive abortions.

"Working families are struggling to pay for gas & food. They fork over their hard earned money in taxes & now St Louis & KC 'leaders' want to spend those hard earned tax dollars on abortions. No way. Any attempt to do so by cities or counties in Missouri will be met with a lawsuit," Schmitt tweeted.

Schmitt's threat came as St. Louis and Kansas City have prepared measures that would provide funds to people seeking abortions outside of the state. Missouri became the first state to ban all abortions after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade last week.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council approved a resolution that would provide financial assistance to city employees seeking an abortion outside of Missouri, KCUR reported.

Proposed legislation before St. Louis' Board of Aldermen and County Council would earmark $1 million apiece in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to provide financial support for women seeking abortions, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

AG Threatens to Sue Cities Funding Abortions
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Friday threatened to sue parts of his state—including St. Louis and Kansas City—if they use public funds to help people receive abortions. Above, Schmitt (right) talks to reporters with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case about Title 42, a controversial policy that has limited asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, on April 26 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla

On Twitter on Friday, Schmitt cited a state law stating that it "shall be unlawful for any public funds to be expended for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion, not necessary to save the life of the mother, or for the purpose of encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life."

Schmitt's comments came as he is campaigning for the U.S. Senate and will face off against other GOP candidates in a primary next month.

In response to a request for comment on Friday, a spokesperson for Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas directed Newsweek to a statement the mayor posted on Friday.

"Using hard-earned taxpayer dollars, whether it be ARPA funds or other forms of revenue, to fund nonsensical threats and meritless lawsuits violates the state attorney general's ethical obligations as a Missouri attorney," Lucas said.

"We will continue to proudly and unabashedly stand up for the freedom of Missouri women and Missouri families to make private healthcare decisions. Kansas City's lawful resolutions are but one step in doing so," he added.

Newsweek has also reached out to St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones' office for comment.

A spokesperson for St. Louis County Executive Sam Page told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday: "[W]e care about the health and safety of women. The AG has made it clear he does not. A court can decide on what is proper funding."