A Kansas City hospital system on Wednesday reversed its decision to stop providing emergency contraceptives like Plan B following assurances from Missouri\u0026#039;s top elected officials that the morning-after pill does not violate the state\u0026#039;s restrictive abortion ban.\r\n\r\n\u0022First it\u0026#039;s abortion. Next it\u0026#039;s contraception.\u0022\r\n\r\nDespite the reversal, critics still pointed to the initial policy change as an example of the broader impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court\u0026#039;s 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women\u0026#039;s Health Organization last week that ended the constitutional right to abortion nationwide.\r\n\r\n\u0022To all those insisting that Dobbs won\u0026#039;t have any implications for contraceptives, Plan B is a contraceptive, not an abortifacient,\u0022 tweeted University of Texas law professor and CNN analyst Steve Vladeck in response to The Kansas City Star\u0026#039;s reporting.\r\n\r\nThe newspaper had revealed that Saint Luke\u0026#039;s Health System—which operates over a dozen hospitals across Kansas and Missouri—confirmed its short-lived policy late Tuesday \u0022after word of the change began circulating among advocates for sexual assault victims.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022To ensure we adhere to all state and federal laws—and until the law in this area becomes better defined—Saint Luke\u0026#039;s will not provide emergency contraception at our Missouri-based locations,\u0022 Laurel Gifford, a spokesperson for the health system, said in a statement.\r\n\r\nGifford explained that while \u0022this care can be provided at our Kansas-based facilities safely, legally, and without putting our clinicians at legal risk,\u0022 Missouri\u0026#039;s abortion law \u0022is ambiguous but may be interpreted as criminalizing emergency contraception,\u0022 and \u0022we simply cannot put our clinicians in a position that might result in criminal prosecution.\u0022\r\n\r\nJulie Donelon, president and CEO of the Kansas City-based Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, had told the newspaper that \u0022it\u0026#039;s important for survivors to know that if they are concerned that they need emergency contraception as part of their healthcare following a rape, that they should not go to Saint Luke\u0026#039;s Missouri.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGOP Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued an opinion on Friday that made Missouri the first of the 13 states with \u0022trigger bans\u0022 to outlaw abortion after Roe\u0026#039;s reversal. That same day Republican Gov. Mike Parson also signed a proclamation to activate the ban. Doctors who violate the law—which does not include exceptions for rape or incest—can lose their license and face five to 15 years in prison.\r\n\r\nFollowing outrage over what critics called the \u0022shameful\u0022 decision by Saint Luke\u0026#039;s to stop offering emergency contraception, representatives for the AG and governor weighed in.\r\n\r\nAccording to the Missouri Independent, Schmitt spokesperson Chris Nuelle confirmed Wednesday that \u0022Missouri law does not prohibit the use or provision of Plan B, or contraception.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nParson spokesperson Kelli Jones similarly said Wednesday that \u0022an abortion is defined in Missouri law as taking action with the intent to destroy an embryo or fetus.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Abortion and contraception are different things, one ends life while the other prevents pregnancy,\u0022 Jones added. \u0022A medical professional\u0026#039;s intent when prescribing medication is always relevant to the lawfulness of their action.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn response, Gifford announced that \u0022following further internal review, Saint Luke\u0026#039;s will now resume providing emergency contraceptives, under new protocols, at all Missouri-based Saint Luke\u0026#039;s hospitals and clinics.\u0022\r\n\r\nHowever, Missouri\u0026#039;s ambiguous law \u0022continues to cause grave concern and will require careful monitoring,\u0022 she added. \u0022This is especially true because the penalty for violation of the statute includes the criminal prosecution of healthcare providers whose sole focus is to provide medically necessary care for their patients.\u0022\r\n\r\nSince the Supreme Court\u0026#039;s right-wing supermajority overturned Roe—and Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurring opinion making clear that other rights are now at risk—reproductive freedom advocates have ramped up warnings about threats to contraception.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAdvocates for reproductive rights and survivors of sexual assault echoed those warnings after Saint Luke\u0026#039;s stopped providing emergency contraceptives, which Iman Alsaden, medical director of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, had described as \u0022dangerous.\u0022\r\n\r\nEmily Wales, Planned Parenthood Great Plains president and CEO, said before the reversal that \u0022we are very concerned that Saint Luke\u0026#039;s decision will have a triggering effect for other institutions and I also think it is a slippery slope.\u0022\r\n\r\nPlanned Parenthood Great Plains—which provides care in not only Kansas and Missouri but also Arkansas and Oklahoma—will continue to offer emergency contraceptives, spokesperson Anamarie Rebori Simmons told the Independent.\r\n\r\nStar reporter Natalie Wallington—who did not write the articles on Saint Luke\u0026#039;s—similarly noted that \u0022this could be the beginning of a larger trend.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOthers took aim at Republicans. The Missouri Democrat Party tweeted that when GOP state lawmakers \u0022wrote their trigger law, they put the \u0026#039;grey area\u0026#039; in on purpose. The grey area is their quiet killer.\u0022\r\n\r\nCongresswoman Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) said that \u0022the extremist [GOP] will not stop at abortion—Plan B is officially on the chopping block too. We must make all reproductive care affordable, accessible, and available to every single person who needs or wants it.\u0022\r\n\r\nThough Democrats control not only the White House but also both chambers of Congress—at least until the midterms this year—Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) have stood in the way of reforming or ending the filibuster, which gives GOP senators an effective veto of all legislation.\r\n\r\nBefore the Dobbs ruling, Manchin even joined with Senate Republicans twice to block a vote on the Women\u0026#039;s Health Protection Act, legislation approved by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives that would codify Roe.