JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) – The Jackson County Executive wants to free up $1 million in federal money to help women travel out of state for abortion procedures.
The Jackson County Reproductive Equity Fund would redirect $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to cover the cost of transportation, lodging and child care for women and families while they seek an abortion outside Missouri, where there are heavy restrictions to abortion
The plan still needs to be approved by the Jackson County Legislature, whose next meeting is Monday, Nov. 7.
“As elected leaders, it is our responsibility to take action when our community is in danger and it is clear that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has created a significant health crisis in Jackson County,” said Jackson County Executive , Frank White. Jr., in a statement early Tuesday morning. “The Jackson County Reproductive Equity Fund will provide support to women of all ages and circumstances, including rape and incest victims who are now legally prohibited from terminating their abuser’s pregnancy.”
Two members of the county legislature voiced support Tuesday morning for White’s plan.
“County Executive White is absolutely right: cities, counties and states are now the battlegrounds for reproductive equity and maternal health. That’s why I’m proud to sponsor the legislation needed to create an Equity Fund Reproductive in Jackson County,” said 1st District At-Large Legislator Jalen Anderson. “Once established, the fund will help Jackson County provide the support so many women need now, while helping to reduce the harm done to our community by the overturning of Roe.”
“I have spent my life fighting to protect women’s freedom to choose if, when and how they want to become a parent or grow their families,” said 2nd District Legislator Crystal Williams. “I want to commend the Provincial Executive for their continued leadership on reproductive health and their willingness to fight to ensure that everyone has the freedom to control their own lives, bodies and futures.”
Other voices in the area are not so sure:
“It seems to me that he’s trying to make the abortion issue a county-wide issue when now it’s a state-by-state issue. It’s not a county issue,” said KCMO Talk Radio Morning Show host Pete Mundo.
Jackson County Republican Party Secretary Carolyn Caton released a statement on the plan saying, “Abortion is not a county issue, but Frank White and the Democrats are trying to make it so. Frank White has nothing to go on because he has a horrible track record in recent years, so he is trying to turn a national Democratic talking point into a countywide talking point. This is a state issue and should be left at that. Frank White should have to answer about his criminal record and property assessment issues that are driving people out of their homes instead of dismissing the same Democratic talking points.
Similarly, nearby, the city of Kansas City passed a resolution in June providing a $300 stipend to city employees who need to travel across state lines to Kansas for an abortion.
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