It was clear by mid-day on Friday, the last day of the 2017 legislative session, that the Missouri Senate was not going to take up and pass HB 174. This MCC priority legislation, if passed, would pre-empt the recently passed St. Louis city ordinance making St. Louis an abortion sanctuary.
The Senate had trouble getting to the business at hand this session, due to disagreements among the majority Republicans and filibusters by the minority Democrats, leaving many worthwhile bills to languish on the calendar, including HB 174. A Senate version of HB 174 (SB 41) was debated earlier in the session on the Senate floor late one evening and into the early hours of the next morning, but it was never called back up from the Senate calendar for further debate and passage. As a result, the St. Louis abortion sanctuary ordinance is still in effect.
The Senate also failed to act on HB 194 and SB 67, bills that would ensure that fetal tissue from abortions in Missouri isn’t diverted for research and other purposes, and that abortion clinics are inspected annually. HB 194 came over to the Senate late in the session and never made it out of committee. SB 67 was debated earlier in the session, but was ultimately never passed in the Senate, despite an extended debate.
There were reports in the media over the weekend that Governor Greitens may call a special session pursuant to Article VI, Section 9 of the Missouri Constitution. If he does, he would need to specifically request that this important pro-life issue be addressed. Whether he will make such a request, however, is not known at this time. Stay tuned!