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How the Supreme Court’s decision could affect Missouri abortion laws

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How the Supreme Court’s decision could affect Missouri abortion laws

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, abortions could be illegal in the state of Missouri.

Dozens gathered outside of the Missouri Supreme Court building Wednesday to pray for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Currently, a woman in Missouri can have an abortion up to 22 weeks, but depending on the outcome in Washington D.C., that could change.

“The fact that we are all here today shows the pro-choice movement that we are not remaining silent on this issue, nor will we remain silent as the Supreme Court continues their deliberations on this case,” Missouri and Arkansas Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America Lucy Gonzalez said.

While the battle over Mississippi’s abortion law is in the nation’s spotlight, which would ban abortions after 15 weeks, the overall decision could affect the Show-Me State.

“It’s literally crossing our fingers and hoping that the willfully, like sub-standard, reality that we’ve been living, especially here in Missouri, that the system perseveres,” chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri Dr. Colleen McNicholas said Wednesday.

McNicholas said already, clinics in Illinois are seeing an increase in patients following Texas’ new law which bans abortions after six weeks, making it the most restrictive state in the country for abortions.

“We are seeing patients get in the car at 2 a.m. in the morning and drive nine hours for me to hand them a pull to get back in the car and drive nine hours back because that is literally the only day they can access abortion,” McNicholas said.

Back in 2019, the General Assembly passed a bill banning abortions in Missouri after eight weeks, the law not allowing exemptions for rape or incest survivors or if the mother receives a prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis. A day before it was set to go into effect, a federal judge blocked the measure, and it has been an ongoing legal fight since.

“Could Missouri be the next state to join Texas with an abortion ban so early most folks don’t even know that they are pregnant, absolutely we could” McNicholas said. “With a situation where we have one remaining abortion facility in the state, we’re talking about folks traveling hundreds of miles, multiple times to be able to access that reproductive healthcare.”

Planned Parenthood in the Central West End in St. Louis is Missouri’s only abortion clinic. The Show-Me State is one of five states across the country that only has one clinic.

Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, it could lead to abortion becoming illegal in the state of Missouri.

Over the summer, Attorney General Eric Schmitt joined nearly two dozen other attorneys general in filing a brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion regulation to the states.

Those in attendance Wednesday hope by overturning Roe, the doors in St. Louis will close as well.

“It is time that our laws catch up to the 21-century,” Western Regional Director for Students for Life of America Reagan Barkledge said. “Dobbs v. Jackson is our chance to finally re-examine and chip away at Roe v. Wade.”

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft also spoke at the rally.

“The Supreme Court may decide what is constitutional and what is not, they do not decide what is moral and what is right and what is just,” Ashcroft said.

Under the Missouri law passed back in 2019, physicians who perform abortions after eight weeks could face anywhere from five to 15 years in prison but the woman who made the decision to have the abortion would not be charged. Anyone who participates in an abortion after the knowledge of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis could be charged with civil penalties, which could include the loss of a medical license.

At present in Missouri, a woman can have an abortion up to 22 weeks. The number of abortions in Missouri per year has decreased significantly over the years in the past decade. According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, the state recorded 6,163 abortions in 2010, but only 46 in 2020.

Here is the list of abortions per year in the last decade:

2010 – 6,163
2011 – 5,772
2012 – 5,624
2013 – 5,416
2014 – 5,060
2015 – 4,765
2016 – 4,562
2017 – 3,903
2018 – 2,911
2019 – 1,368
2020 – 46

As for Missouri’s law that’s in the federal court of appeals, which was heard by all 11 members back in September, a rare move, there is no timeline on when a decision could be made.

The country’s highest court is most likely months away from deciding on the ruling.

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Timberwolves are kings of the first quarter

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Timberwolves are kings of the first quarter

The Timberwolves remain the kings of the first quarter. They outscored Brooklyn 37-36 over the first 12 minutes on Sunday at Target Center, marking the 10th straight first quarter in which they’ve outscored their opponent.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said early in the season the team identified the value of getting off to strong starts in games. It’s been a focus ever since.

That’s why it made sense for Minnesota to put all of its eggs into the starting basket. That included pairing Patrick Beverley and D’Angelo Russell — the team’s two primary point guards — in the starting lineup to open contests. At times, finding a third point guard to fill the minutes where both guards are then off the floor has proven challenging, but the Wolves deemed that a problem worth having given the upside of the starters.

The five-man unit of Russell, Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns remains one of the best in basketball, statistically speaking. Yet the same group that starts the game so well has struggled at recent points to open third quarters. That suggests there’s something about the way the group starts that leads to early success.

For the season, the Timberwolves owned the second-best first quarter net rating in the entire NBA entering Sunday’s contest. They outscored opponents by 10.6 points per 100 possessions over the first 12 minutes.

Now the key is for Minnesota to sustain that success over 48 minutes.

BEVERLEY OUT

Beverley missed Sunday’s contest with a right ankle sprain suffered in Thursday’s loss to Atlanta. That marked the 14th game the veteran guard has missed this season due to a combination of injuries and illness.

VANTERPOOL RETURNS

Former Timberwolves assistant coach and defensive coordinator David Vanterpool returned to Target Center as a member of Brooklyn’s bench Sunday after spending the previous two years in Minnesota.

That tenure included the end of last season, in which Vanterpool worked under Chris Finch, who was tabbed as Minnesota’s new head coach over Vanterpool after the firing of Ryan Saunders.

Finch said he “enjoyed working with him very much.” The two sides parted ways at the end of the season.

“Obviously I came in in rough circumstances for everybody,” Finch said. “He was nothing but welcoming and very professional. … I didn’t have any prior relationship with DV, and through the remainder of that season, I really enjoyed working with him. We made some tweaks to our defense along the way, and he was instrumental helping implement those with an open mind.”

Finch told Vanterpool he is going to be an NBA head coach at some point.

“When you have that type of acumen and that type of experience, it’s only a matter of time,” Finch said. “Getting your opportunity is the hardest thing.”

WOLVES OWNER, PACKERS FAN?

Yes, that was new Timberwolves’ owner Alex Rodriguez at Lambeau Field on Saturday for the Packers’ divisional round loss to San Francisco. Rodriguez, who attends a number of big national events throughout the year as an avid sports fan, was sporting a Green Bay hat, which rubbed a few Minnesota sports fans the wrong way on social media.

Rodriguez was back on the Target Center sidelines Sunday, supporting the Timberwolves.

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St. Paul liquor store employee shot while trying to stop shoplifter

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Police say man in red stole from St. Paul church offering plate, then asked for money

An employee at a St. Paul liquor store who confronted a shoplifter Sunday afternoon was shot twice and is in stable condition, police said.

Officers responded about 3:45 p.m. to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of liquor store at 140 Snelling Avenue North, according to Steve Linders, a St. Paul Police Department spokesman.

When they arrived they found a man in his twenties had been shot twice in the abdomen, Linders said. Officers provided first aid until medics arrived and took the man to Regions Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

Witnesses told police the man confronted a shoplifter who had just left the liquor store. The shoplifter pulled out a gun and shot the employee.

The shooting remains under investigation, and no suspects had been arrested as of 6 p.m. Sunday.

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Police: 1 dead after shooting on Amtrak train in Missouri

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Police: 1 dead after shooting on Amtrak train in Missouri

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — Police have identified the victim of a fatal shooting on an Amtrak train as a 30-year-old man from Independence, Missouri.

Police were called around 9:15 p.m. Friday to the Amtrak station in Independence where they found that Richie T. Aaron Jr. had been shot while the train had been stopped earlier at the Lee’s Summit station.

Sgt. Chris Depue of the Lee’s Summit Police Department says police are looking for the suspect, who was also riding the train and fled in Lee’s Summit.

The Kansas City Star reports that police say people on the train did not immediately recognize that a person had been shot.”

The train traveled north to Independence where life-saving efforts were attempted before Aaron was pronounced dead.

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