By Dave Andrusko
It was by no means easy–it took a special session– but today Gov. Eric Greitens signed HCS SB 5, a wide-ranging pro-life measure, into law.
“Today is a great victory for pregnancy care centers that help women and children all over the state,” a happy Greitens said in a statement. “I’m proud that many of Missouri’s lawmakers stood strong to protect the lives of the innocent unborn and women’s health.”
Missouri Right to Life said, “We are especially grateful to Governor Greitens for calling this special session and for his support of this pro-life legislation.” NRLC’s state affiliate called the measure “one of the strongest pro-life bills to be passed by the Missouri Legislature in many years!”
“This is probably one of the most important bills I’ve ever been involved with in my legislative career,” Assistant Senate Majority Leader Bob Onder, told the Kansas City Star.
Six weeks after Gov. Greitens called the legislature back to Jefferson City (the regularly scheduled session ended in May), the Senate voted 22-9 to pass a measure with a number of provisions which include, according to Missouri RTL:
- “Ensuring that our top law enforcement officer, the Attorney General, has equal jurisdiction with a local prosecutor. This is needed when a local prosecutor is pro-abortion and refuses to uphold the laws when an abortion clinic or abortionist breaks the law.”
- “Annual on-site unannounced abortion clinic inspections to make sure abortion clinics are following the law.”
- “Whistleblower protections for employees of abortion clinics who see law after law being broken inside these abortion clinics and want to report it, but are afraid of the repercussions by the abortionists.”
- “Protection for pregnancy resource centers and faith communities not to be forced to participate in abortions.”
The latter alludes to what we reported here previously. In February, the city of St. Louis passed Ordinance 70459, which pro-life opponents said creates an “Abortion Sanctuary City.” The ordinance prohibits any organization, church or business from hiring or firing employees—even excluding from membership in the case of churches—on the bases of what the code refers to as, “reproductive health decisions or pregnancy status.”
State Sen. Onder and others said that amounted to forcing pro-life entities to support and even fund abortions of their own employees.