Inmate In Court Case Gets Abortion

A Missouri inmate whose effort to get an abortion went all to the way to the Supreme Courtunderwent the procedure.

The woman had the abortion Thursday in St. Louis, after the courts ruled that the state Corrections Department must provide her with transportation to the clinic at taxpayer expense.

The four-months-pregnant inmate was in prison in Vandalia, 80 miles from St. Louis, for violating her probation on a methamphetamine-possession charge.

The woman, whose name was not released, had said she would borrow money for the abortion from friends and family but could not afford to pay for transportation to a clinic to have it done. The prison system refused to give her ride because of a Missouri law that forbids the use of tax dollars to facilitate an abortion. The travel costs were estimated at $350 for two guards plus fuel.

But a federal judge ruled that the policy violated the woman's right to an abortion. Then, without comment, on Monday the high court lifted the temporary stay blocking the federal judge's ruling that Missouri officials had to drive the woman to a clinic to have the procedure over the weekend.

"The governor remains disappointed in the court actions that compelled the state's involvement," said Spence Jackson, a spokesman for Gov. Matt Blunt on Monday. Jackson said that the prison policy reflects Missouri values.