KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Friday threatened to sue any city, including Kansas City, that puts taxpayer dollars toward abortion services.

Schmitt, who is running for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat, released a statement Friday, one day after the Kansas City Council passed a resolution that asked the city manager to negotiate with the city’s health insurance trust to reimburse travel expenses for city employees who cross state lines to get an abortion.

The city council’s move came less than a week after the trigger law went into effect in Missouri that bans abortion in the state with the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The only exception is if the pregnant person’s life or bodily function is in danger.

“We don’t know what that’s going to look like,” Councilmember Melissa Robinson said Friday in relation to the resolution. “That’s why we have a healthcare trust, so that they can do their due diligence. They can determine what’s lawful, what’s legal and what’s ethical.”

Robinson said the resolution the city council passed Thursday needs to come back to the city council before the plan’s implemented.

“So talk about a lawsuit because of a resolution that’s not codifying in code. It’s not an ordinance,” Robinson said. “It’s just simply looking at what options are possible and what’s available given the turn of events, the unfortunate turn events in healthcare today.”

Missouri’s new abortion law says it’s “unlawful for any public funds to be expended for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion.” That’s one of the concerns council member Dan Fowler brought up Thursday. It’s part of the reason why he voted against it. 

“I wanted to know, was something like this lawful?” Fowler said Thursday. “What are the potential sources of funds because we don’t want to have some of the city taxpayers pay for this.”

Schmitt said if the city uses public funds, he’ll be filing a lawsuit.

“Using hard-earned taxpayer dollars, whether it be ARPA funds or other forms of revenue, to fund abortions is plainly illegal under Missouri law,” a statement from Schmitt said Friday. “St. Louis City and County, and Kansas City, and any others who attempt to authorize taxpayer-funded abortions will be met with a lawsuit from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.”

Lucas, meanwhile, was quick to respond to Schmitt’s statement.

“Using hard-earned taxpayer dollars, whether it be ARPA funds or other forms of revenue, to fund nonsensical threats and meritless lawsuits violates the state attorney general’s ethical obligations as a Missouri attorney,” the mayor said in his own statement in part.

Robinson said they’re still looking for clarity on the funding.

“Right now, there isn’t any identification as to how the changes in the plan will be funded,” Robinson said when asked whether the plan will be taxpayer funded. “So that’s not something I can answer at this point.”

She said the city council’s hoping the city’s insurance provider will pay for the travel reimbursement, not the city itself. But there’s no word when that decision would be made.

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