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Missouri Abortion Laws


Abortion is illegal in Missouri except in the case of a medical emergency.


In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. Missouri had a trigger ban, which is now in effect. Under Missouri law, all abortions, except in medical emergencies, are prohibited.

Missouri Abortion Laws

Understanding your rights and responsibilities under the law can be confusing for non-attorneys, given the way laws are written. The following chart lists the basic requirements of Missouri abortion law.

Statute Missouri Revised Statutes: Title XII, Section 188.017
Statutory Definition of Abortion

The act of using or prescribing any instrument, device, medicine, drug, or any other means or substance with the intent to destroy the life of an embryo or fetus in his or her mother's womb; or

The intentional termination of the pregnancy of a mother by using or prescribing any instrument, device, medicine, drug, or other means or substance with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth or to remove a dead unborn child

No abortion, except in medical emergencies (a condition which, based on reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert the death of the pregnant woman or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman)

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion Class B felony (five to 15 years)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Missouri Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Have Concerns About Missouri's Abortion Laws? An Attorney Can Help

If you're facing an unwanted pregnancy, it can be difficult wading through the conflicting information available and determine exactly what your rights are. Although access to abortion is protected at the federal level, state laws vary widely. Get help today by reaching out to an experienced Missouri health care attorney near you.

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