by Steven Ertelt
September 9, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — After debating a bill late Thursday night that would help reduce abortions by helping parents protect their teenagers and increasing women’s safety, the Missouri state Senate gave it a final approval.
Though the bill received a strong vote of support, some pro-abortion Democrats attempted to gut the legislation by offering weakening amendments.
The legislation features two key provisions.
One prevents adults other than a minor girl’s parents from taking her to another state for an abortion. The other provision requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges in a local hospital within a 30 mile radius of the abortion facility.
Democratic leader Maida Coleman of St. Louis led the opposition and said when she was pregnant at 17, she didn’t want to talk to her parents about it. She and other members of the Senate proposed allowing adults other than a minor girl’s parents to take teens to another state for a secret abortion.
But pro-life lawmakers voted down the amendments saying one abortion business in Illinois, across the border from St. Louis, targets teenagers for abortions there because Illinois has no law requiring parents to be notified about the abortion beforehand.
The measure now heads to the Missouri House of Representatives, which is also expected to sign off on the bill by a lopsided margin.
A House committee previously approved a different version of the bill and heard from a distressed parents who couldn’t talk about an abortion with her daughter.
Shawn Reagan of Wood River, said she wept s she talked with staff at the Hope Clinic abortion facility in Granite City, Illinois. The staff refused to let her talk to her 14 year-old daughter who was inside the facility preparing for an abortion.
Reagan knows the bill won’t affect Illinois law, but she hopes it helps Missouri teens and parents who may face a similar situation as her.
"I only hope that Illinois will follow suit," she said.
"We’ve given parents a right in Missouri that is nullified by the state of Illinois," said Sen. John Loudon, a Republican senator who is the lead sponsor of the Senate bill.
The bill "will protect women, will protect parental rights and we believe it will save many lives," Susan Klein, of Missouri Right to Life, told the Associated Press.
Sen. Joan Bray, a Democrat, has sponsored legislation to force the state to spend more money on family planning services as opposed to helping crisis pregnancy centers that support pregnant women. The legislation is not expected to receive approval from the state legislature during the special session.
Related web sites:
Missouri state legislature – https://www.moga.mo.gov