Missouri Family E-News

August 2, 2017

          
Legislators
Act to Protect
Pregnancy Resource Agencies   

The Missouri Legislature has taken decisive action to protect pregnancy resource centers from harassment by hostile officials in local government.

The General Assembly approved a comprehensive bill signed into law by Governor Eric Greitens which contains language preserving the free speech rights of agencies providing alternatives to abortion.

The bill pre-empts the adoption of local ordinances which restrict, control, or interfere with the mission, operations, and education and counseling practices of crisis pregnancy centers. 

The new law is a response to a wave of state and local laws across the country which are designed to gut the purpose of pregnancy resource centers.  These laws invariably require life-affirming agencies to promote and refer women for abortions.

A very proximate example of such a law is one recently enacted in the State of Illinois.  That statute requires agencies serving pregnant women to outline the "benefits" of abortion as a "treatment option," and to provide women with a list of abortion providers.

The new Missouri law specifically bans any action by a political subdivision to "require a person to directly or indirectly participate in abortion if such participation is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such person."

Governor Greitens applauded the Legislature's action to safeguard the work of pregnancy resource centers, which was a topic included in his call for an extraordinary special session of the General Assembly devoted to pro-life concerns.

"Today is a great victory for pregnancy care centers that help women and children all over the state," the Governor said in a statement.  "I'm proud that many of Missouri's lawmakers stood strong to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and women's health."

The omnibus bill signed by the Governor also forbids local governments from demanding that health insurance plans include coverage for elective abortions or abortifacient drugs.

That provision is a response to a recent anti-bias ordinance adopted by the City of St. Louis which prohibits discrimination based on "reproductive health decisions."

Opponents of the ordinance maintain that it could compel religious organizations that provide maternity coverage in their health insurance plans to also include coverage for abortions.

Senator Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau and Representative Tila Hubrecht of Dexter filed bills in their respective chambers to protect the pro-life activities of alternatives to abortion agencies.  Their bills were incorporated into the final measure signed into law by Governor Greitens.                
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State Legislature Forestalls Sale of
Baby Body Parts

The Missouri Legislature has put the skids on the prospect of fetal tissue trafficking in our state as a result of legislation signed into law by Governor Eric Greitens. The bill enacted by the General Assembly was an omnibus pro-life bill touching on a number of subjects which received final approval in the Senate last week.

The Legislature endorsed the sweeping measure in response to a rare special session called by Governor Greitens to specifically address several legislative priorities of the pro-life movement.  The Senate gave final passage to the bill by a vote of 22-9 after adopting stronger pro-life language approved by the House.  The Senate truly agreed to the final product after voting in rare fashion to shut down a filibuster by pro-abortion senators. 

One of the leading provisions of the omnibus bill is language which overhauls the state's regulations governing the disposal of the remains of preborn children who have been aborted.  Under previous Missouri law, an abortion clinic was required to submit a representative sample of tissue removed at the time of the abortion to a certified pathologist.

The newly enacted law mandates that all fetal tissue resulting from an abortion must be forwarded to a board eligible pathologist for examination within five days.  The pathologist must then verify that the tissue submitted reveals evidence of a completed abortion.  A report must then be filed with state health officials reflecting the conclusions of the pathologist's examination.

The subject of fetal tissue disposal has become an ugly centerpiece of the barbaric business model of the abortion industry in America today.  Not only are abortionists murdering unborn children in merciless fashion, but they are meticulously performing late-term abortions in a way that preserves intact the brains and vital organs of the dismembered child.

A series of revolting national undercover videos revealed that employees and contractors of Planned Parenthood clinics have been engaged in the marketing and sale of vital organs and fetal tissue in violation of federal law.  The videos recorded Planned Parenthood officials discussing how to leave vital organs undamaged during the abortion procedure, and how to maximize their profits from the sale of fetal tissue "specimens."

The grisly black market business of baby body parts took on a disturbing local angle with the release of the very first video by a group called the Center for Medical Progress.  In that segment, the national senior medical director for Planned Parenthood said that the St. Louis area was an "untapped supplier" for marketable fetal tissue from abortions.  That "untapped supplier" is undoubtedly the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Barnes Hospital, or the Washington University Medical Center, or all of them working in concert. 
As a result of the law soon to be on the books in Missouri, abortion clinics in our state will no longer be able to retain any of the fetal remains of an unborn child for harvesting and sale to unscrupulous medical research firms.  Pathologists doing business with Planned Parenthood and the like will now be liable for certifying that the body parts of an aborted child are accounted for.

State Senator Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis and Representative Diane Franklin of Camdenton have been the state legislators spearheading action by the General Assembly on the fetal tissue issue.  The internal impetus for legislative action were two investigative committees which met in 2015 and 2016 chaired by Representative Franklin and by former Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia.

The final bill signed by the Governor, House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 5, contains a number of other issues which we will detail in future editions of the Jeff City Update.

Here is the roll call recording how state senators voted on the omnibus pro-life bill:

Senators voting for HCS for Senate Bill 5:

Senators Brown, Cunningham, Dixon, Eigel, Emery, Hegeman, Hoskins, Kehoe, Koenig, Kraus, Libla, Munzlinger, Onder, Richard, Riddle, Romine, Rowden, Sater, Schatz, Wallingford, Wasson, and Wieland.

Senators voting against HCS SB 5:

Curls, Holsman, Hummel, Nasheed, Rizzo, Schupp, Sifton, Silvey, and Walsh

Senators absent or absent with leave:

Chappelle-Nadal, Schaaf

You can let your state senator know how you feel about their vote by using this link:
Your State Senator

Joe's Signature

 

Missouri Family Policy Council, 1430 Triad Center Dr., Ste. B, St. Peters, MO 63376
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