Just after midnight Thursday morning, during the second extraordinary session called by Governor Greitens, the Missouri Senate passed SB 5, sponsored by Senator Andrew Koening (R-Manchester), after a long day of negotiations and a pro-life rally at the Capitol.
Most importantly, the bill includes language pre-empting the “abortion sanctuary” ordinance passed by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen in February, and protecting pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes. This was a legislative priority for the Missouri Catholic Conference during the regular legislative session, and we are grateful to see this part of the bill pass the Senate.
The bill also gives the Attorney General’s office jurisdiction to enforce pro-life laws in areas of the state where local prosecutors are reluctant to act for political and other reasons. It also requires the Department of Health to inspect abortion clinics annually, and empowers the Department to sanction abortion clinics that do not comply with state law concerning the disposal of fetal remains.
Finally, the bill authorizes the Missouri Department of Health to issue new regulations governing abortion clinics after a federal judge in Kansas City recently struck down two important safety regulations implemented years ago to protect women’s health.
The bill now moves to the Missouri House, where it will be debated next week. The MCCthanks our MOCAN members for their faithfulness in contacting Senators and attending the rally at the Capitol this week in support of life. We will be calling upon you again next week to contact your State Representatives. Stay tuned!