By Dave Andrusko
Yesterday, the Missouri House of Representatives gave overwhelming approval to an omnibus pro-life bill described by Speaker Elijah Haahr as “the strongest pro-life bill in the country.”
House approval of HB 126 on a 110 to 37 vote came less than a week after U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes refused a third request for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed Planned Parenthood to resume offering abortions at its Columbia, Missouri clinic. As a consequence of Judge Wimes’ decision, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri is the only clinic in the state offering “abortion services.”
Gov. Mike Parson (R) voiced his support for the House measure in a statement issued last night. “I’m honored to lead a state with so many people committed to standing up for those without a voice,” Gov. Parson said. “I applaud the bipartisan efforts of the Missouri House of Representatives for choosing to take a bold stand to protect women’s health and the right to life.”
Among the many provisions included in HB 126 is a ban on abortion when the baby reaches 20 weeks gestation, a developmental point by which the child can experience pain; a requirement that a minor to inform both custodial parents when she is seeking an abortion; bans abortions on the basis of race, sex or if the baby has Down syndrome; and the establishment (according to the Associated Press) of “a so-called ‘trigger clause that would completely ban abortion, except in the case of a medical emergency, if Missouri if Roe v Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court.”
The Associated Press’ Summer Ballentine quoted Rep. Holly Rehder who said
lawmakers should act quickly to install a so-called “trigger law” because some states are moving in the opposite direction of Missouri by approving less restrictive abortion laws.
“We’ve got to get serious in Missouri. And we’ve got to pass these laws to prevent that from ever occurring here,” Rehder said.
Added sponsor state Rep. Nick Schroer, “Today, let us make known to citizens of this great state and every state in the nation that Missouri stands for the unborn.”