Missouri Pro-Life Group Upset Supreme Court Allows Midwives to Do Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
June 25, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri Supreme Court appears to have handed abortion advocates a victory when it issued a ruling Tuesday on health care legislation. The state’s high court ruled on the Missouri Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Pro-life advocates, including Missouri Right to Life, have no position on the bill, HB 1818 that creates the program.
However, HB 818, now upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court, contains a new provision, section 376.1753, that permits midwives to perform services that Missouri law has not previously allowed.
The pro-life groups interpret the section as allowing any certified health professional, including nurses and midwives, to do abortions. A provision of the bill would allow any person holding "ministerial or tocological certification" to provide pregnancy-related services as well.
Currently the state only allows licensed physicians to do them and the group say that would expand the abortion industry there.
Missouri Right to Life president Pam Fichter tells LifeNews.com, "HB 818, now upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court … permits midwives to perform services that Missouri law has not previously allowed," she said.
"Unfortunately, because of the drafters choice of language in the amendment, including the use of a term that has been all but forgotten in the English language — ‘tocological’ — the new provision can be exploited to allow abortions to be performed by non-physicians," she explained.
"Whatever the intent of the drafters and proponents of new sec. 376.1753, abortionists have been handed an unexpected gift in HB 818," Fichter said.
Fichter said her group wants Gov. Matt Blunt to address the issue this Fall.
"Missouri Right to Life urges the Governors leadership in calling for a special session in September 2008 to run concurrent with the veto session to pass language to address the pro-life issues raised by HB 818," she said.
During the debate over the measure in the state legislature, Sen. John Loudon (R), who opposes abortion, had added the language to the bill that he did not think would allow nurses or midwives to do abortions.
The Missouri Catholic Conference joined Right to Life in having concerns about the language.
Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org
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