by Steven Ertelt
May 19, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Sarah Steelman, a Republican candidate for governor, is calling on the Missouri state legislature to hold a special session on a bill that would prohibit forced abortions in the state. The legislature ended its session and did not complete its work on the coercive abortion issue.
In April, the Missouri House approved HB 1831 on a 113-33 third reading vote.
Steelman, the State Treasurer, wants pro-life Gov. Matt Blunt to call the legislature into session. She held a press conference to tout her "Life is Precious" initiative as well.
"So what more urgent need to do we have in this state than to protect life," Steelman said. "It is only complacency that would allow us to realize this is an issue that we should act on today."
According to a Springfield Leader report, Steelman said that, if Blunt fails to act, she will make the forced abortion ban, allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child, and promoting abortion alternatives one of top priorities as governor.
Rep. Kenny Hulshof, who is battling Steelman for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, planned his own press conference for Monday afternoon at the Pregnancy Care Center.
The bill makes it a crime to pressure or coerce a woman into having an abortion and anyone found guilty of doing so would receive a maximum of five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
The legislation also contains other sections helping pregnant women, including one that prohibits colleges and universities from revoking athletic scholarships form pregnant students.
The Missouri Senate came under fire for spending just five minutes debating the forced abortion bill.
Missouri Right to Life is astonished that the Missouri Senate did not pass HB 1831," Pam Fichter, the head of Missouri Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
"This legislation would have required abortion clinics to offer a woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion, inform them that unborn children can feel pain during the abortion, and would have protected women from some forms of coercion," she added.
Fichter added: The Missouri Senate has missed an opportunity to assure that women who consider abortion are informed and protected.
Missouri Right to Life has also called on Blunt to seek a special session.
Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org