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Now that Gov. Mike Parson has recently signed the anti-abortion bill, women who desire not to become a mother will be forced to continue pregnancies they are not ready for. I hope the "pro-life" legislators who passed this legislation will see fit to now sponsor and pass legislation that gives mothers/families statewide six months' paid leave after the birth of a baby.

That legislation should have been passed first to help mothers/families cope with the financial challenges of parenthood, especially when it comes after an unplanned pregnancy. The time is ripe in Missouri for six months' paid leave, especially on the heels of this legislation. It is not only the mothers/families who will suffer from the financial challenges of parenthood, but also the babies that you are so forcefully trying to protect.

Erin O’Reilly • St. Louis