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Missouri's abortion law puts hospitals and patients at risk

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Missouri's abortion ban contains only one exception, not for rape or incest, but for "medical emergencies." But the law is vague on what that means — and that's a problem for hospitals, since performing an abortion could carry a felony and prison time. It's also a problem for patients in critical need of care.

Mylissa Farmer was 17 weeks pregnant when she was told her baby wouldn't survive birth. Even though doctors at a Joplin hospital recommended terminating her pregnancy, they couldn't perform the procedure because of Missouri's abortion ban. Now, federal investigators are looking into whether the hospital violated federal law by refusing to perform emergency medical care.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Sam Wicentowski spoke with Michelle Banker, Director of Reproductive Rights and Health Litigation at the National Women’s Law Center, and Susan Szuch, health and public policy reporter for the Springfield News Leader, about the story.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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