The House passed the abortion bill which emerged from committee Monday with several changes made on the floor. The vote was 110-38 mostly on party lines dominated by the super majority GOP. The bill now goes back to the Senate, which passed its own version of the legislation last week. Republican Governor Eric Greitens called the special session to respond to a federal court decision which toss out some abortion regulations in Missouri earlier this year.
The Missouri House has taken up an abortion bill passed out of committee yesterday in the second week of a special session of the legislature called by Republican Governor Eric Greitens over the issue.
The proposal places stricter restrictions on abortion procedures than legislation passed by the state Senate last week. It contains elements of House bills which were approved in committee last week while the Senate passed its own plan through the full chamber.
Among other things, the House committee plan before the full chamber strengthens requirements for tracking of fetal tissue after an abortion procedure.
The proposal also fortifies a provision from the Senate bill that gives the attorney general jurisdiction to prosecute individual abortion cases throughout the state. The House committee’s measure does away with the local prosecutor’s right of first refusal for jurisdiction.
In addition, the proposal would toss out a St. Louis city ordinance prohibiting discrimination based reproductive health decisions. It further defines an abortion facility and requires them to submit to unannounced annual inspections.
During Tuesday’s floor session, two amendments were adopted early. One from Republican Diane Franklin of Camdenton, would, among other things, extend the time allowed for fetal tissue to be delivered from a clinic to a pathologist from three to five days.
The other from Republican Jay Barnes of Jefferson City details some elements of a complication plan and stipulates that only the physician performing the procedure explain risks to patients. Existing law requires the risks be explained, but allows any qualified professional to do so.
An amendment from Republican Mike Moon of Ash Grove that would have called for doctors to make every effort to deliver a live baby and extend legal due process to the unborn was rejected. Other members of the GOP super majority in the chamber expressed concern the amendment would jeopardize the legislation’s passage.
Story by Brian Hauswirth and Jason Taylor