Missouri Senate passes annual abortion clinic inspections

  • Missouri Senate passes annual abortion clinic inspections

Missouri Senate passes annual abortion clinic inspections

Lawmakers are considering the policies during a special session centered on abortion that was called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who says he was partly motivated by a federal judge's ruling striking down some state abortion regulations.

The ruling, which the state is appealing, tossed out requirements that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that clinics meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery. Planned Parenthood now only offers the procedure in St. Louis. Currently, the only Missouri clinic performing abortions is in St. Louis. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester. The consensus among some Republicans was that an original bill sponsored by Sen.

Missouri's Attorney General would still have jurisdiction to prosecute abortion law violations, but only if local prosecutors first refuse to act.

But Jeffrey Mittman with the American Civil Liberties Union contends the court decisions demonstrate that legislation to restrict abortion access is an infringement on womens rights.

Samuel Lee of Campaign Life Missouri is quick to point out that the success rate of pro-life legislation in Jefferson City is high. "But unless a local prosecutor or somebody enforces the laws, it doesn't make any difference".

Annual health inspections of abortion clinics made it into the latest version of the bill, along with a provision to nullify a St. Louis ordinance banning discrimination based on abortion or pregnancies.

Before that, roughly 200 abortion-rights advocates gathered in the Rotunda for a mock "People's Special Session" in protest.

The legislation also would require the state's health department to review fetal tissue reports and compare them with the number of reported abortions - an effort by Republican lawmakers to ensure tissue is properly disposed of and not kept.

As he left a caucus in the Senate Lounge and headed to the floor Wednesday evening, Rowden said he was "hopeful" the legislature would come to an agreement on the Senate bill.

Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, slammed lawmakers for waiting until after midnight to give the bill a vote.

Republican Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for the second time this summer for a special session focused exclusively on abortion.

"Bills that try to make it very hard for women to access that reproductive health option, which is her right to do, are unsafe", she said.

Greitens on Wednesday is leading an anti-abortion rally at the Capitol.

The Missouri House isn't scheduled to convene until after Sunday, though a House committee conducted hearings Wednesday on four abortion-related bills, a stop-gap measure in case the Senate is unable to pass its bills this week.