by Steven Ertelt
September 15, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri state legislature has given its final approval to legislation that would further reduce the number of abortions in the Show Me State. The measure helps parents keep teenagers away from secret abortions and helps women who may be botched by an abortion gone awry.
With the 115-35 vote the state House sent the bill to Gov. Mat Blunt, a Republican who has said he will sign it and called state lawmakers to town specifically to pass it. The Senate passed the measure 26-6 last week.
Blunt praised the passage of the bill, calling it a "a good pro-life piece of legislation that will reduce the number of abortions in our state" and help in "cultivating a culture that values human life and the rights of the unborn."
Though Blunt will sign it, the measure may not be immediately enforced because Planned Parenthood and a Springfield abortion business both plan to file lawsuits against the measure.
"Planned Parenthood pledges to do everything we can through the courts to challenge this law," Paula Gianino, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region told the News-Leader newspaper.
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.
Staff at the abortion facility told the News-Leader they are changing their practices on abortions on minors.
Hope Clinic executive director Sally Burgess said it will not require parents of Missouri teens to accompany them to the abortion facility to ensure it has their consent to perform the abortion. If the teen is worried about telling her parents about her pregnancy or a possible abortion, the facility will not perform the abortion.
"We have explored what we can do for a teenager who feels she would be in danger if she went to her parents," Burgess 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