The Missouri Senate passed an abortion bill late Wednesday night in a special legislative session called by Governor Eric Greitens.
The measure beefed up regulations from the proposal that emerged from a committee hearing the day before, but was less stringent than what was introduced earlier this week.
The bill was largely a response to a court decision tossing out previous requirements for abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and for clinics to meet hospital-type standards for outpatient care.
The measure approved by the Senate dismantles a St. Louis City ordinance that barred discrimination based on pregnancy decisions. It also provides for more scrutiny of fetal tissue and gives more protection for whistleblowers who report violations of abortion laws.
The measure further gives the attorney general more power to prosecute violators and calls for unannounced annual inspection of abortion clinics.
The biggest change from the bill which emerged out of committee Tuesday was a provision providing the definition of an abortion clinic. This addition is meant to provide standards for the centers after the court stripped out the requirement to meet outpatient hospital standards.
The Senate, after passing the bill early Thursday morning, will reconvene next Thursday, presumably to reconcile the legislation with any changes the House might make. The House is scheduled to return to session next Tuesday.