On June 30, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey was granted a preliminary injunction against the city of St. Louis for misusing government funds to pay for abortions, and also had 10 of 11 claims dismissed in a case against eleven religious leaders who sought to upend Missouri’s pro-life laws.
Bailey’s suit against St. Louis came after the city illegally tried to fund abortions after the Supreme Court handed down the June 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision. By funding abortions, St. Louis also went against a 2019 law declaring that the state of Missouri had become a sanctuary protecting all pregnant women and their unborn children. Based on the existing state statute, Judge Sengheiser granted Bailey’s injunction request, and the abortion fund has been barred from use.
Sengheiser gave Bailey another legal win on the same day against a legal challenge by fourteen ministers from various religions. In January 2023, the ministers filed a lawsuit challenging eleven components of the 2019 pro-life law, claiming that as Missouri taxpayers, their religious freedom rights under the Missouri constitution were violated by the abortion restrictions. Bailey called for the lawsuit to be dismissed, claiming that the pro-life law is entirely constitutional. Judge Sengheiser dismissed ten of the eleven claims brought in the lawsuit, but did not dismiss the ministers’ challenge against the total abortion ban.