The Missouri State House started its last day of the session on an anti-choice foot by passing the Abortion Restriction Bill. This omnibus bill, which contains additional restrictions on top of the state’s current 24 hour waiting period and informed consent process, passed by a vote of 114-39.
Under the new law, physicians are required to repeat medically inaccurate statements to the patient prior to the procedure and all informed consent processes must be done face to face, adding to the length of time required to obtain an abortion. Abortions will no longer be included in any private health care plans in the state, regardless of whether or not a woman would have paid for the coverage with separate funds. Also, clinics will be required to put up signs that read that the state will provide support for mothers who decide to continue their pregnancies, although the state does not at this time have resources in place to give to these mothers.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Missouri released the following statement upon passage of the bill:
This bill does nothing to improve the health and well-being of Missouri women, and it does nothing to help women and couples prevent unintended pregnancies. As a trusted provider of reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood believes every woman should have evenhanded and unbiased information so she can protect her health and make the best decision for herself and her family. A woman needs – and Missouri women get – information about the risks involved with, and alternatives to, abortion but that information should not be written to coerce, shame or pressure the woman into making a decision that is not right for her.
The House Children and Families Committee debated and passed 6 bills restricting abortion this session while ignoring child protection and prevention bills. The vast majority of Missourians support common sense solutions like sex education in schools and increased access to family planning services. The Missouri legislature is out
of step with the priorities of the state.
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The Abortion Restriction Act will now be sent to the governor for signature.