Women in Missouri could be required to watch an informational video produced by the Department of Health and Senior services prior to having an abortion under a bill passed out of a House committee Tuesday.
Missouri has an “informed consent” law that requires physicians to present details of the procedure in written form. State Representative Linda Black says her bill would ‘enhance’ that.
“It would be a mere image of the printed form, but only in a narrative documentary form,” said Black.
Black says her bill would help those who are illiterate or do not learn well by reading. She said it addresses handicaps that people may have of interpreting and understanding the information.
The committee also considered two other bills dealing with abortion proposed by State Representative Kathy Swan (R-Cape Girardeau). House bills 190 and 427 would require the state to annually inspect abortion clinics. HB 427 would additional change the way public funds for family planning are distributed.
Planned Parenthood of St. Louis is Missouri’s only abortion clinic. Swan says that clinic has only been inspected in three years since 2004 and deficiencies were found both in 2009 and 2013. Swan said inspectors found rusty equipment and expired medication.
“The annual inspection will ensure that the proper protocols are being followed,” said Swan.
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman M’Evie Mead says the deficiencies found were fixed immediately and the clinic does not have a problem with inspections.
“Right now, to us, it looks like it’s not health and safety motivated, it looks like it’s politically motivated,” said Mead. “We are committed to safety, we do a lot of safety measurements. We have rigorous safety standards and in that is included getting inspected by the Department of Health as they see fit, as frequently as they see fit.”
Mead said if the abortion clinic is going to be inspected more frequently, every ambulatory surgical center should be as well.
Swan, a former registered nurse, says the bill is about accountability as a state and providing quality health care.
The House committee has yet to vote on Swan’s bills or two other bills heard last week on expanding the parental notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion.