Nicole GallowayMissouri State AuditorState Auditor’s Office, P.O. Box 869Jefferson City, MO 65102
Dear Auditor Galloway,
As students and alumni of Missouri institutions of higher education, we write to voice our concerns about the harm the implementation of HB 126 would have on the state of Missouri. We write together, as both alumni and current students, deeply concerned about the future of our educational institutions and their ability to thrive should HB 126 go into effect. As you make your assessment of the financial risk posed to our state by this law, we encourage you to note the significant financial consequences of our objection.
None of us would choose to attend college in a state that effectively bans abortion, as this violates both our own autonomy and that of our peers. None of us would choose to further our education in an atmosphere that threatens to criminalize professionals who perform abortion, because we trust our peers who study medicine and our neighbors who practice it. They strive to provide scientifically accurate information and patient-centered care, and we oppose any effort to eclipse those standards.
If Missouri’s voters fail to repeal HB 126, we will be forced to withhold support of both state and private educational institutions who have been complicit – including through silence – in its implementation. We encourage you, as Missouri’s Auditor, to view each of the undersigned as a potential economic loss to Missouri. In tuition dollars alone, each of us represents tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for Missouri educational institutions annually, and the impact of the loss of our talents, our innovation, and our drive is immeasurable. Even beyond the loss of tuition dollars, taxes, and legal expenses, this measure could cost the state all of its Medicaid funding, $7.2B that provides lifesaving care to Missourians in need.
Preventing Missourians from accessing abortion after eight weeks, before some of them even know they are pregnant, is unconstitutional, dangerous, and a violation of Missourians’ individual freedoms; this kind of bar on access to reproductive healthcare only hurts the communities that many of us hold dear. Given the state coffers devoted to defending this unconstitutional measure, and given the number of students that will be deterred from coming to, staying in, or returning to Missouri, the financial consequences of implementing HB 126 are both tangible and substantial. We know the human cost will be far greater.
We believe that with smart policies that leave healthcare decisions to professionals and their patients, Missouri can thrive; HB 126 is just the opposite.
We call on the auditor to understand the potential cost the loss of Missouri’s students will have on Missouri, and we call on our universities to echo our concerns by submitting their own fiscal analysis of referendum 2020-2001 to the auditor by Friday, June 7th.
Sarah NesbittWashington University in St. LouisClass of 2017
and the Undersigned: