Legislation that would require that women seeking abortions have an opportunity to see an ultrasound of their child is bogged down in the Missouri Senate with just two weeks left in the session. The comprehensive pro-life measure, which would strengthen the state's informed consent law and make coerced abortions a crime, has been stalled by a filibuster waged by pro-abortion senators.
Two companion bills containing similar provisions are in position for final passage with just days left in this year's regular session. Senate Bill 264, sponsored by Senator Rob Mayer
of Dexter, is on the senate informal calendar. The House version of the bill, House Committee Substitute for House Bills 46 and 434, has been reported out of a Senate committee, and is on the House Bills for Third Reading calendar. Representative Bryan Pratt
of Blue Springs is the chief sponsor of the House bill.
In addition to the ultrasound provision, both bills would require that women considering abortion receive information on the development of the unborn child, the immediate and long-term medical and psychological risks of the abortion procedure, and support options for women choosing childbirth or adoption. The bills also mandate that women seeking late-term abortions be told about the pain the unborn child would experience.
The only way either bill will win passage in the Senate is if senators resolve to shut down the filibuster. This requires a motion known as "the previous question," which closes down debate and brings a bill to final vote. The previous question motion is rarely used, is a departure from the
traditions of the Senate, and is considered a last resort.
Unlike last session, support for breaking the pro-abortion filibuster is much stronger. But it will only happen if the Senate leadership makes a decision to prioritize the ultrasound bill in the last days of the session and schedule it for debate. At the present time, Senate leadership is
reluctant to do so.
Filibusters and threats of filibusters have tied up the Missouri Senate for much of the session. In recent years, the Senate has become a graveyard for legislation, and all the moreso this year. A University of Missouri political science professor has correctly observed that the Missouri Legislature is sliding into dysfunctionality because of the persistent use of the filibuster by individual senators.
For many years, Missouri was in the vanguard of states initiating and adopting major pro-life
legislation. That is no longer the case. In fact, Missouri has fallen well back into the middle of the pack. Fifteen states have pro-life ultrasound laws on the books. Twenty-three states have enacted informed consent laws, most with provisions stronger than those in Missouri. Five states have laws dealing with fetal pain. Because of Missouri's weak laws on informed consent, women walking into abortion clinics in our state continue to be denied the truth about the nature of the procedure and the damage it causes to them and their unborn child.
Pro-abortion forces led by Planned Parenthood are vigorously fighting the passage of the ultrasound bill because they know it will remove the mask of deception and the cloak of conspiracy that surrounds
the abortion procedure. Pro-abortion lobbyists know that they will have no success striking down the ultrasound bill in court, because informed consent laws have been repeatedly upheld all across the country.
The ultrasound bill was approved in the House with the support of 70% of the members. Should it reach a vote in the Senate, it would likely receive the vote of nearly 80% of the members of that chamber. Yet a handful of senators working in collusion with the abortion industry are blocking the pro-life convictions of the Missouri Legislature and the pro-family sentiments of the people of Missouri.
Please be praying this week for every member of the Missouri Senate. Please be praying in particular for Senator Rob Mayer
, who is at the forefront of efforts
to break the senate filibuster. Please be praying that senators will do what is right and just in the eyes of God, and be unconcerned about the traditions and customs of men.
We strongly urge you to contact your state senator by phone or e-mail this week. Urge them to "move the previous question" and pass the pro-life ultrasound bill. Contact information for your senator can be found at this link: www.senate.mo.gov
Please also contact the office of Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, who decides what bills will be debated and when. Senator Engler is pro-life and needs to be encouraged to take action on this life-saving measure THIS YEAR. Senator Engler's office number is (573) 751-3455. His e-mail address is email@example.com