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Kirsten Gillibrand to hold St. Louis town hall on Missouri abortion law

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, a U.S. senator from New York, has planned a town hall meeting in St. Louis on Missouri’s abortion law set to go into effect later this month. 

The town hall will take place Aug. 18 in St. Louis at 2 p.m. at Delmar Hall at 6133 Delmar Blvd. Gillibrand also plans to meet with doctors, nurses, and patients while in the St. Louis area, her campaign said. 

“Now, more than ever, women’s reproductive and human rights are under attack. President Trump and the Republican Party believe they have the right to control women’s bodies, and they will stop at nothing to strip women of their rights,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “In Missouri, I will stand with the women, providers, patients, and the men who support them, to fight not just to protect our rights, but to expand them. We must defeat these cruel policies, and I know that together, we will win.” 

Missouri’s sweeping abortion ban — signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson earlier this year — is set to go into effect Aug. 28. It bans abortions after eight weeks and includes “nestled” components, designed to withstand legal challenges, with restrictions at 14, 18, and 20 weeks. 

The law allows for exemptions in cases of a “medical emergency” but not for rape or incest victims — one of the more controversial components of the legislation. 

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have sued in an attempt to block the law from going into effect later this month. It did include an emergency clause — triggered immediately upon Parson signing the bill — which requires both parents of a minor to be notified if she seeks an abortion. 

While Trump, a Republican, has said he is anti-abortion, he also supports exemptions in abortion bans for victims of rape and incest. 

Gillibrand has said she would only nominate judges who support the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision if she’s elected president in 2020. 

The St. Louis Planned Parenthood is the only facility in the state that is able to provide abortion services.