A bill designed to crack down on meth manufacturing and prescription drug trafficking has picked up a controversial measure as it works its way through the Capitol. The Drug Monitoring Act also contains a provision that would ban the sale of RU 486, the abortion pill, in Missouri.

Rep. Ray Salva (D-Sugar Creek) tells colleagues during House floor debate on final passage, "I do not apologize to anyone for taking advantage of this bill opening up that section allowing me to present an amendment to outlaw RU 486, the abortion pill."

Salva added the amendment during preliminary consideration of the bill. The bill had widespread support at the time, receiving 107 votes with only 49 state representatives voting against it. It seemed assured of easy passage.

Support for HCS HB 1619 , The Drug Monitoring Act, eroded during debate on final passage. It nearly died on the House floor. A drumbeat of criticism shook support. In the end, only 84 representatives voted in favor of the bill, two more than the minimum needed for passage in the House.

Several representatives expressed concerns that the bill would undermine the privacy rights of Missourians. The bill, in its attempt to crack down on prescription drug trafficking in Missouri, would require pharmacies to report certain prescriptions they dispense to the State Department of Health. The department would record those transactions in a data base. Critics say the state has no right to know that information and worry that the data base would become public.

The bill has survived. It now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)