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I am a lifelong Missouri resident who has attended college and graduate school in the state. I cannot use the education I have been fortunate enough to receive here in Missouri. I am forced out. I must travel to Illinois every day to work. Many of the patients I see are forced out of state as well. My profession is to help patients access safe, legal abortion and provide them with support and resources. I help people navigate their pregnancy options. I cannot do my job in Missouri because of nonsensical restrictions and unethical, medically inaccurate, state-mandated “counseling.”

I see the impact of the already draconian bans Missouri has in place, such as parental consent, a 72-hour waiting period, and a whole host of other restrictions that delay care.

Most of the patients I see are forced to travel from out of state. They do not travel to Illinois out of a sense of vocation; they are simply trying to access basic health care. Currently, Missouri is considering a ban on abortion at eight weeks. The ban is inhumane, unethical and will delay people getting the care they need. Missouri already has worse maternal health outcomes than the nation as a whole. We cannot in good conscience continue to put undue burdens on Missouri residents. Enough is enough. Abortion is health care, and we must take a stand against these horrific attacks on bodily autonomy.

Hannah Dismer • University City