Connect with us

Missouri

A Missouri law forbids pregnant women from divorce. A proposed bill looks to change that.

Published

on

A Missouri law forbids pregnant women from divorce. A proposed bill looks to change that.



A bill aims to protect pregnant women who may be in domestic violence situations. Those facing domestic abuse can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788.

A controversial law in Missouri doesn’t allow pregnant women to get divorced. The legislation has been in place for 50 years, but there is now a push by a Democratic state representative to overturn it.

The state’s law was initially meant to “prevent what the courts consider the ‘bastardization’ of a child,” Missouri House Rep. Ashley Aune, a Democrat who represents the 14th district in Kansas City, told USA TODAY.

The law was aimed at protecting families and basically made it illegal for pregnant couples to get a divorce before the mother gives birth.

Advertisement

Aune sponsored House Bill 2402. The bill has bipartisan support and is co-sponsored by Rep. Richard Brown (Democrat, 27 District), Rep. Jeff Farnan (Republican, 1 District) and Rep. Sherri Gallick (Republican, 62 District).

The bill would allow “the court to enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation if a person is pregnant.” In layman’s terms, it would give pregnant woman the ability to get a divorce finalized.

“Women are terrified for a million other reasons, let’s not give them one more,” said Aune. “Let’s give [women] a break.”

Law could lead to dangerous domestic violence situations

Aune says the issue was brought to her attention by Synergy Services, a Missouri shelter that provides women and their families a safe haven from violent situations.

Advertisement

“The intents [of the law] were noble and I can respect where they came from, however when we know better, we do better,” said Aune. “We know domestic violence is all too common, and one really distressing type of domestic violence is reproductive coercion, and often what that looks like is either an insistence or denial of pregnancy termination and sabotaging birth control.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines reproductive coercion as “behavior that interferes with contraception use and pregnancy.” It is also commonly called “baby trapping” and can happen to both women and men.

Domestic violence: Minnesota shooting highlights dangers on calls for first responders and victims

Domestic violence advocate says the law gives abusers an advantage

Sara Brammer, the VP of Domestic Violence Services at Synergy Services in Kansas City, said that abusers are very conscious of this law and can use it to keep their spouses from divorcing them.

Advertisement

Brammer is responsible for Synergy’s domestic violence shelter and domestic violence housing program. She also directs Synergy’s Offender Intervention Program.

Around 80% of the people in the program were referred to the program via the court. The time spent in it ranges from 26 to 58 weeks and varies based on how high a survivor’s risk of death is from the violence they experienced. The program consists of seven groups made up of 12 to 15 people each that meet each week.

“I have heard it on both sides that both women feel coerced and not able to divorce, and men are conscious to the fact that [women] can’t get divorced when they’re pregnant,” Brammer told USA TODAY. “And they use that against their partner.”

Brammer said one of the men who was in the program tracked his wife’s ovulation cycle on his cell phone so he could make sure she was always pregnant while she was with him.

Advertisement

“We’re talking about something that is absolutely very coercive and manipulative,” said Brammer. “And there’s a law that supports that.”

She continues on to say that the law not only makes it more difficult for people to leave abusive situations, but it makes the people in those situations feel “powerless.”

Proposed bill is a way out of ‘bad situations’ for women and men, Rep. Aune says

“I have seen friends whose partners [were] incredible partners until they got pregnant, and then all of a sudden they became monsters,” said Aune

Aune said it’s time to give people another option to get out of marriages like the examples she gave. She believes this house bill will help men and women get out of “bad situations” that they are stuck in because of a pregnancy.

Aune said that since this bill gained publicity, men on Reddit are speaking up and saying that this law prevented them from getting out of their marriages.

Advertisement

One example Aune gave was a man whose wife became pregnant when he was deployed overseas.

“There’s obviously no way he was the father,” said Aune. “He was overseas, but he couldn’t divorce his wife.”

According to Aune, if a man’s wife is pregnant, he can’t leave her because the state automatically assumes he is the baby’s father because of their marriage.

A different Reddit user said that despite being separated from his wife, he wasn’t able to divorce her when she got pregnant with the man she was living with at the time of the separation. He says they weren’t allowed to divorce until the baby was born.

Next steps for the proposed bill that would overturn Missouri divorce law

The bill now heads to a House committee for a vote in order to advance. If that happens, next steps in the legislative process will include approval by the full state House and full state Senate. From there, it would end up on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature to officially become a law.

Advertisement

What other states have a divorce law like Missouri’s?

Currently, four states have bans that prevent pregnant women from getting divorced:

  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Missouri
  • Texas

Julia is a trending reporter for USA TODAY. She has covered various topics, from local businesses and government in her hometown, Miami, to tech and pop culture. You can follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and TikTok: @juliamariegz.





Source link

Missouri

75-year-old KCMO man airlifted to hospital after Hickory County, Missouri, crash

Published

on

75-year-old KCMO man airlifted to hospital after Hickory County, Missouri, crash


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 75-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, man was injured in a crash Friday morning, just north of Quincy, Missouri.

The man was driving a 2023 Ford Edge on Missouri Route 83, when he failed to stop for a stop sign at County Road 2-83, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

MSHP says the Ford moved into the path of a 2017 GMC Acadia and was struck.

The Kansas City, Missouri, man was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield with serious injuries.

Advertisement

The driver of the Acadia was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries.

MSHP is investigating the crash.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com. Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.

Advertisement





Source link

Continue Reading

Missouri

Missouri continues battle over Planned Parenthood funding

Published

on

Missouri continues battle over Planned Parenthood funding


Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 12:00 AM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In a state where abortion is illegal, the debate over Planned Parenthood’s funding has once again ignited, with over 30,000 Missourians relying on the organization for essential healthcare services.

Advertisement

The issue has resurfaced as Republican lawmakers push to block state funding from reaching abortion providers and their affiliates. Representative Bill Eigel, representing the Republican leadership, saw the recent defunding of Planned Parenthood as a significant victory.

This move comes in response to previous rulings by the Missouri Supreme Court, which twice banned lawmakers from withholding Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood through the budget process. The bill’s sponsor argues that this new approach bypass those rulings.

The full article is available at ozarksfirst.com.

(Story by Liz Dowell, Emily Manley, ozarksfirst.com)

Advertisement





Source link

Continue Reading

Missouri

Sixth Inning Eruption Propels No. 15 Mizzou Softball Over No. 9 Florida, 6-3

Published

on

Sixth Inning Eruption Propels No. 15 Mizzou Softball Over No. 9 Florida, 6-3


The No. 15 Missouri Tigers softball team took down the No. 9 Florida Gators 6-3 in the first of the three-game at-home series on Friday after a four-run sixth inning.

Believe it or not, Mizzou didn’t record a hit until that wild sixth inning, but the Tigers were still able to log two runs in the second. On the first run, catcher Julia Crenshaw’s hit by the pitch eventually brought her home after right fielder Kayley Lenger was also hit by the pitch (Stefania Abruscato’s fielder’s choice, followed by left fielder Mya Dodge being walked loaded the bases). Shortly after, shortstop Jenna Laird’s sacrifice fly brought Abruscato home.

The Gators didn’t have trouble in this department early in the game as they scored a run in each of the first three innings. Nevertheless, the Tigers’ defense and pitching by Laurin Krings responded well after each of these runs as they all came within the first out of each of each respective inning.

The Mizzou defense held strong for the rest of Krings’ tenure as after allowing a hit to open the fourth inning, two ground-outs and a line-out were the Gators’ only response. Marrissa McCann filled in for Krings to open the fifth inning and counting the aforementioned consecutive three outs, the two combined for 11-straight retired batters.

Advertisement

The Tiger offense finally picked up from the defense’s momentum in the sixth inning after Abruscato had the honor of achieving the team’s first hit of the evening, which brought Claire Cahalan, who pinched ran for Abby Hay after being walked, to third base. Dodge followed it up with an unlikely strikeout, but from there, Mizzou began to rally.

Lenger and Maddie Gallagher’s singles and Alex Honnold’s HBP added three runs to the scoreboard and the Tigers found themselves up 6-3 entering the seventh inning. All the momentum had shifted with the Columbia, Mo. crowd.

From there, McCann and the defense took care of the Gators’ batters to end the game.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending