by Steven Ertelt
September 13, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Legislation to reduce abortions in Missouri is headed for a final vote in the state House and is expected to clear that hurdle and be sent to Governor Matt Blunt for his signature. The bill would help parents better know about their daughter’s possible abortion and protect pregnant women who are victims of botched abortions.
The state House’s Children Committee gave its approval to the legislation on Monday and heard from its Senate sponsor, who said people who take teens to other states for secret abortions should be able to be sued for their actions.
Abortion advocates have blasted that provision of the bill saying it could lead to lawsuits against pastors and priests.
Sen. John Loudon, a St. Louis Republican who sponsored the bill in the Senate, responded, "If you’re a clergy (member) that’s intending that these minors do all of that — skip the judicial option and go to Illinois — then you probably ought to be prosecuted or brought to court civilly."
The committee approved the bill after a short hearing, the Columbia Missourian newspaper reported and is expected to be debated and voted on in the full House Wednesday.
The committee made no changes to the bill. If no amendments are added on the House floor, it could head to Blunt’s desk following House passage. The governor has pushed for the pro-life measure and will sign it into law.
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 requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges in a local hospital within a 30 mile radius of the abortion facility.
During a hearing on the measure, Shawn Reagan of Wood River, said she wept as 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.
Pro-life groups back the bill and it "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.
Related web sites:
Missouri state legislature – https://www.moga.mo.gov