The Missouri Legislature has enacted comprehensive pro-life legislation which ensures
that women receive full disclosure about the nature, risks, and consequences of
The legislation dramatically strengthens the state's informed consent
law on abortion, and declares in unmistakable terms the state of Missouri's preference
for childbirth over abortion.
Senate Bill 793, sponsored by Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter, was given final approval
by the Missouri House on the last day of the legislative session by a vote of 114-39.
Representative Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs was the handler of the bill in the Missouri
House. The legislation is now in the hands of Governor Jay Nixon, who must decide
whether to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Should the bill be enacted into law, women considering abortion in Missouri will
be told the truth about the procedure for the first time since the Roe v. Wade
decision legalized abortion 37 years ago. The new statute will make it much less
likely that women will be deceived, victimized, and exploited by the abortion industry.
The bill establishes a number of requirements that must be fulfilled by an abortion
clinic 24 hours before a woman can obtain an abortion. Under the new statute, for
the first time, the information will have to be provided in person. The legislation
requires that women be shown pictures of the development of the unborn child at
various gestational stages. It requires that women be told that "the life of each
human being begins at conception" and that abortion "will terminate the life of
a separate, unique living human being."
Most significantly, women must be afforded the opportunity to see an ultrasound
of their unborn child, and hear the heartbeat of the child if it is audible. The
clinic may provide the ultrasound themselves, but must also provide the woman with
a list of other facilities where they may obtain the ultrasound, which would include
pregnancy resource centers. Missouri would become the 19th state with a law mandating
that women be afforded the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their preborn child.
The bill calls for women to be specifically informed of the immediate and long-term
medical risks of abortion, including "the harm to subsequent pregnancies and the
ability to carry a subsequent child to term, and the possible adverse psychological
effects associated with an abortion." They must be told that the father of the
child is legally and financially responsible for the child, even if the father has
offered to pay for the abortion.
Women must also be advised of public and private agencies able to assist a woman
in carrying her child to term, and be furnished a list of those agencies including
crisis pregnancy centers, pregnancy resource centers, and adoption agencies. The
abortion clinic must also let the woman know about the Missouri Alternatives to
Abortion Program, which provides services to eligible women and their children
for up to a year following the birth of the child.
Lastly, in the case of abortions to be performed in advanced stages of pregnancy,
women must be informed that the unborn child may experience pain by 22 weeks of
gestational age, and that anesthesia is often given to unborn children who undergo
prenatal surgery at that stage or to babies born prematurely who require surgery.
The woman must be told that if she chooses to proceed with a late-term abortion,
that she has the choice to have an anesthetic or analgesic administered to alleviate
pain to the unborn child.
Should the bill become law, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
will be charged with the task of developing the written materials to be given to
abortion-minded women containing all the information required by the bill. This
is where efforts to undermine the purposes of the legislation may occur. Yet the
statutory language is very specific about what must be cited in the written materials
and how it is to appear.
We cannot overestimate the monumental nature of this victory for the pro-life movement
and the women and children of Missouri. This is the most significant piece of pro-life
legislation enacted in Missouri in nearly 25 years. The last time a bill of this
scope and impact was passed by the General Assembly was in 1986, when the legislation
that led to the Webster Supreme Court decision was adopted by the General Assembly.
The Missouri Family Policy Council pioneered this informed consent legislation in
the fall of 2007. We initiated the concept and developed the proposal with advice
from Americans United for Life.
The final bill reflects the language our organization
We are most grateful to Senator Mayer for his exceptional leadership in shepherding
this proposal to final passage over the course of these last three sessions. We
appreciate the work of Representative Pratt and former Representative Bob Onder
in championing this legislation
in the Missouri House. We are thankful for the
strong support of the leadership in the Missouri House and Senate, without which
this bill would not have been adopted. We are grateful for the many strong pro-life
members in each legislative chamber who voted for this life-saving bill.
The final bill Senate bill included additional legislation introduced by Senator
Scott Rupp of Wentzville which exempts Missouri from the pro-abortion provisions
of the federal health care bill.
We will highlight that issue in an upcoming edition
of the Jeff City Update.
We ask you to do two things in the coming week. First, take the time to thank God
for His mercies on our state, and His response to the prayers of His People. Citizens
from all across Missouri were praying for our legislators like never before this
session, and God's beneficent hand was evident on this and other issues. Missouri
state government has had a long history of support for the sanctity of human life,
yet our efforts to maintain that tradition have faltered in recent years. Missouri
now has the opportunity to once again be in the vanguard of pro-life leadership.
To God be the glory!
Secondly, contact the office of Governor Jay Nixon and ask him to sign Senate Substitute
for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 793.
Please pray that the Governor will be responsive to the overwhelmingly pro-life
sentiments of the families and citizens of Missouri. Please pray that he will recognize
the importance of women receiving truthful information about one of the most important
decisions they will ever make in their life. This is one of the most important decisions
Governor Nixon will make as the chief executive of our state.
The following state representatives voted for Senate Substitute for Senate Committee
Substitute for Senate Bill 793:
Allen, Aull, Ayres, Biermann, Bivins, Brandom, Bringer, Brown (Jason), Brown (Dan),
Bruns, Burlison, Casey, Conway, Cooper, Cox, Cunningham, Davis, Day, Deeken, Denison,
Dethrow, Dieckhaus, Diehl, Dixon, Dugger, Dusenberg, Emery, Ervin, Faith, Fallert,
Fischer, Fisher, Flook, Franz, Funderburk, Gatschenberger, Grill, Grisamore, Guernsey,
Guest, Harris, Hobbs, Hodges, Hoskins, Hummel, Icet, Jones (Tim), Jones (Kenny),
Keeney, Kingery, Koenig, Kratky, Kraus, Kuessner, Lair, Largent, Leara, Liese,
Lipke, Loehner, McGhee, McNary, Meadows, Meiners, Molendorp, Munzlinger, Nance,
Nasheed, Nieves, Nolte, Parkinson, Parson, Pollock, Pratt, Quinn, Richard, Riddle,
Rucker, Ruestman, Ruzicka, Sander, Sater, Scavuzzo, Schaaf, Schad, Scharnhorst,
Schieffer, Schlottach, Schoeller, Schoemehl, Self, Shively, Silvey, Smith (Joe),
Smith (Jason), Stevenson, Stream, Sutherland, Swinger, Thomson, Tilley, Todd, Tracy,
Viebrock, Walsh, Wasson, Wells, Weter, Wilson (Larry), Wilson (Kevin), Witte, Wright,
State Representatives voting against SS SCS SB 793:
Atkins, Burnett, Calloway, Chappelle-Nadal, Colona, Curls, Dougherty, Englund, Frame,
Holsman, Hoskins, Jones, Kander, Kelly, Kirkton, Komo, Lampe, LeVota, Low, McClanahan,
McDonald, McNeil, Morris, Newman, Norr, Oxford, Pace, Schupp, Skaggs, Spreng, Still,
Storch, Talboy, Vogt, Walton Gray, Webb, Webber, Whitehead, Zimmerman
State Representatives absent for the vote:
Brown (Michael), Carter, Corcoran, Flanigan, Hughes, LeBlanc, Roorda, Salva, Wallace