JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A state lawmaker has filed a new bill, calling on Missouri to repeal its abortion ban in connection with a 2019 statute.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) sponsored House Bill 544 to repeal a Missouri bill that took effect in 2019 and outlawed abortion in the state after 6 weeks of fetal development.

Quade’s bill, if passed, would allow abortions up to 22 weeks.

The House Democrat also filed the bill last year while Missouri lawmakers were in a special session on tax cuts. But Gov. Mike Parson said he would not expand the scope of the special session, and the bill did not advance to the governor’s desk.

Last summer, Missouri banned elective abortions shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.

“State law now deprives Missourians of the right to make choices for themselves, their families and their reproductive futures,” Quade said.

“Physicians and health care providers have had to surrender their medical expertise to the interpretations of lawyers and the whims of politicians. Meanwhile, the women of Missouri suffer.”

Under the state’s current abortion law, abortions are only allowed if the mother faces a “medical emergency.” But Quade said that interpretation is vague for health care providers, physicians and hospital legal departments over what constitutes a medical emergency. 

“People will die if we continue to allow this horrific law to stand,” Quade said. “My bill will save lives and return dignity and freedom to reproductive health care in Missouri.”

Quade, prior to pre-filing the legislation, noted numerous studies that found a correlation between states with more restrictive laws on abortion and increased maternal mortality rates.

Missouri’s next legislative session begins Wednesday. FOX4’s Emily Manley spoke with lawmakers from both major parties last week who are optimistic heading into the current legislative session.