Missouri Governor Pledges to Veto Any Pro-Life Legislation on Abortion
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
February 18, 2004
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Despite the fact that there are enough pro-life legislators in Missouri to override his vetoes, Governor Bob Holden called them hypocrites for supporting restrictions on abortion while loosening restrictions on business and agriculture.
Speaking Tuesday to 150 attendees at a pro-abortion rally, Holden pledged to veto any pro-life legislation — even though his veto last session of a law requiring a 24 hour waiting period before an abortion was overridden by legislators from both parties.
Holden referred to Republican legislators’ attempts to reduce the government burden on business and agriculture, and criticized the fact that they also "want the government smack in the middle of the most personal decisions a woman has to make."
"Their position is hypocritical, and it’s an insult to the women of Missouri," Holden said.
His comments didn’t go over very well with pro-life lawmakers.
"Unfortunately, we have an executive branch who does not respect life," said House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden (R-St Charles). "We’re being principled — both in relieving regulations on agriculture and protecting life. … It’s unfortunate we have to take such a regulatory stand to protect life. It shouldn’t be necessary, but it is."
Bearden also said that Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state will receive no funding from the state’s 2005 budget, despite Holden’s requests that funding be restored after the legislature cut off state family planning grants last year.
Other pro-life legislative initiatives in Missouri include an effort to ban human cloning and an attempt to allow parents to sue anyone who tries to circumvent Missouri’s parental consent law by taking their daughters to Illinois or Kansas for abortions. A bill to make Missouri the seventh in the nation to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to include unborn children.
Americans United for Life, a pro-life legal group, recognized Missouri as one of nine states last year to pass at least two pieces of legislation further protecting unborn children – despite the state’s pro-abortion governor.
Missouri Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life group, is hopeful about pro-life Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s run to oust the almost powerless pro-abortion Holden.
During a campaign kick-off in St. Louis, Blunt said, "I’m clearly pro-life." To back up that statement, Blunt said that he would support legislation barring late-term abortions and requiring counseling for women considering abortions.