SB 658 - This act provides that the constitutions and laws of the United States and the state of Missouri shall be interpreted, construed, applied, and enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees and volunteers to freely assemble and to freely engage in religious practices and speech without governmental interference.
A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order or other similar measure that prohibits, restricts, limits, controls, directs, interferes with, or otherwise adversely affects an alternatives-to-abortion agency or its officers, agents, employees, or volunteers' assembly, religious practices, or speech, including but not limited to counseling, referrals, or education of, advertising or information to, or other communications with, clients, patients, other persons, or the public.
Nothing in this act shall preclude or preempt a political subdivision of this state from exercising its lawful authority to regulate zoning or land use or to enforce a building or fire code regulation, provided that such political subdivision treats an alternatives-to-abortion agency in the same manner as a similarly situated agency and that such authority is not used to circumvent the intent of this section.
Alternatives-to-abortion agencies under this act include maternity homes and pregnancy resource centers as defined under current law or an agency or entity that has the primary purpose of providing services or counseling to pregnant women to assist such women in carrying their unborn children to term instead of having abortions, and to assist such women in caring for their dependent children or placing their children for adoption.
A court may order injunctive relief, recovery of damages, or both, as well as payment of reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses or any other remedies permitted by law.
This act is identical to SB 745 (2012) and HB 1357 (2012) and SB 50 (2013).