Missouri Abortion Ban Draws Support, Opposition as Legislative Strategy

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Abortion Ban Draws Support, Opposition as Legislative Strategy

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 8, 2006

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — On the heels of South Dakota approving a ban on virtually all abortions, a Missouri lawmaker has filed a measure in the state Senate to ban almost all abortions in the Show Me state. But pro-life advocates are divided on whether the measure is a good strategy or is good timing.

Sen. Jason Crowell, a Cape Girardeau Republican, has introduced two measures that would ban all abortions except to save a woman’s life.

One measure changes the state’s law and another measure is an amendment to the state’s constitution. If approved by the state legislature, the measures would bypass the governor and go directly to the state ballot.

But pro-life groups are already fighting a monumental against a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would promote embryonic stem cell research and legalize some forms of human cloning. They say the timing would be particularly worrisome.

"The pro-life community is divided on what the best strategy is," Sam Lee, of Campaign Life Missouri, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper.

He echoed concerns of other groups that an abortion ban is premature because the Supreme Court is still 5-4 in favor of abortion, assuming new Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito will support overturning Roe.

Larry Weber of the Missouri Catholic Conference and Patty Skain, executive director of the Missouri Right to Life, agree.

"I’m very disinclined to bring cases that intended to overturn Roe v. Wade without knowing if we have the votes," he told the newspaper.

Gov. Matt Blunt, who opposes abortion, has also expressed reservations about the abortion bans, telling reporters last week that he’s "not convinced it’s necessary" to pass an abortion ban.

Crowell says he hopes his measure will be used to challenge the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling. His bills make it a felony to perform an abortion and abortion practitioners would serve 5 to 15 years in prison.

The amendment reads: "No person shall knowingly use or employ any instrument or procedure upon a pregnant woman with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn child."

The bill is SB1248.

Related web sites:
Missouri state legislature – https://www.moga.mo.gov