FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 19, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT: Olivia Lapeyrolerie, [email protected]

Amid Growing Trend in Municipal Funding of Abortion Care, St. Louis Allocates American Rescue Plan Act Funds Toward Reproductive Health Care, and Local Leaders in Minneapolis Launch Campaign for City Funding for Abortion Care

This weekend, local leaders in St. Louis, MO, and Minneapolis, MN, took important steps towards addressing the crisis in abortion access by allocating municipal funding to abortion. The St. Louis City Board of Alderman passed Board Bill 61 last Friday, allocating $3.05 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds toward the creation of a Reproductive Equity Fund, as well as COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination efforts. This bill was sponsored by Ward 08 Alderwoman Annie Rice and championed through to passage by NIRH’s partner Pro-Choice Missouri.

On Sunday, NIRH’s partners Our Justice and Pro-Choice Minnesota and Minneapolis City Councilmembers Aisha Chughtai and Robin Wonsley launched a new campaign to win funding for abortion care and practical support in the city’s upcoming budget.

“Cities and states are now the battlegrounds for reproductive equity and maternal health. St. Louis’s creation of a Reproductive Equity Fund is a model that municipalities across the country can use to fight twin public health and economic crises caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the obliteration of Roe,” said National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) President Andrea Miller. “St. Louis joins the growing number of cities that are stepping up to ensure access to abortion care, and Minneapolis – which is now a critical access point for abortion care in the Midwest – is soon to join that list. We applaud our partners in both cities for their ceaseless defense of abortion care. This weekend’s victories prove that every city has a role to play in advancing access to reproductive health, rights, and justice, whether they are located in an abortion-restrictive state like Missouri or an access state like Minnesota.”

NIRH and All* Above All work closely with organizations and advocates across the country to develop and implement creative strategies that address the financial barriers to abortion access caused by the Hyde Amendment, similar federal bans, and state-level abortion restrictions.

“As we face a national abortion access crisis, elected officials at all levels must use every tool to ensure that people can get the abortion care they need right now,” said Morgan Hopkins, Interim Executive Director of Campaigns & Strategies at All* Above All. “In St. Louis and Minneapolis, local elected officials are demonstrating their commitment to the wellbeing of their residents, as well as those traveling from out of state, by funding logistical support for people seeking abortion care. These are the kind of bold moves we need. Abortion justice can’t wait.”

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance equitable access to reproductive health care. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.