It is late July and while lawmakers usually find themselves working hard in their districts with constituent matters, this last week members of the Missouri Senate spent several days in Jefferson City. After a nearly month-long break, Senators returned Monday to continue work on the governor’s second extraordinary session since May to pass a strong pro-life bill that protects crisis pregnancy centers.
Senate Bill 5 was first heard in the Senate more than a month ago. Since then the House has added key provisions that I support and this week I was proud to vote yes on the improved and final version of the bill.
Some of those key provisions included requiring abortion clinic physicians to meet with patients 72 hours before the procedure is performed. Other additions to the law include annual, unannounced inspections; and it prevents clinic employees from requesting ambulances silence their sirens or use a back entrance when responding to a medical emergency at the clinic. It had come to light that some clinic employees would ask the emergency personnel to respond in a manner outside of their usual protocol, in an effort to not draw attention to a medical emergency at the clinic.
When Senate Bill 5 returned to us from the House it also included a provision that would allow Missouri’s attorney general to enforce abortion laws. Senate Bill 5 will allow the attorney general to overrule local prosecutors when it comes to abortion laws.
This bill also overturns the St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance and prohibits other municipalities from passing similar ordinances; prohibits forcing religious schools to hire abortion advocates as teachers and landlords from renting to abortion clinics; and prohibits harassment of pregnancy resource centers.
Tuesday afternoon, the Senate passed Senate Bill 5 by a vote 22-9, having made no changes to the House version of the bill. Governor Greitens has already signed Senate Bill 5 into law so soon these changes will be in effect.
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