By Nancy Valko
Editor’s note. Last Thursday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s signed “Simon’s Law.” The story reproduced below talked about this important law and the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act.” At the time it was first written, neither had been signed. Now both have.
I feel so fortunate to be living in a pro-life state like Missouri!
This month, the Missouri legislature passed both Simon’s Law and the “Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act” . Both are expected to be signed soon by Governor Mike Parson.
When baby Simon Crosier was born with Trisomy 18 and a heart defect in 2010, his parents and brothers fell in love with him despite his life-threatening diagnosis and the medical community’s opinion that Trisomy 18 is“incompatible with life”.
However, just days before three month old Simon was scheduled to see a cardiac surgeon, his parents begged for help at the Catholic hospital treating Simon when his condition started to deteriorate. They were shocked when the staff did not intervene. They did not know that the hospital had made their baby a Do Not Resuscitate and that Simon was given only so-called “comfort feeds” due to a secret futility policy. They had to helplessly watch as Simon died in their arms.
Heartbroken and outraged but determined that this would not happen to another child, the Crosiers went to legislator Bill Kidd who formulated Simon’s Law. After five long years of frustration even getting the bill out of committee, Simon’s Law was finally and unanimously passed in the Missouri legislature and is awaiting Governor Mike Parson’s signature.
The law prohibits “any health care facility or health care professional from instituting a do-not-resuscitate or similar order without the written or oral consent of at least one parent or legal guardian of a non-emancipated minor patient or resident.”
Due to the Crosiers’ selfless efforts to protect children with disabilities like Simon’s by writing the book “I am Not a Syndrome-My Name is Simon” and speaking around the country, now Kansas, Arizona and South Dakota have also passed a Simon’s Law.
And stunningly, as I wrote in my blog “Parent Power”, even doctors have started to wake up: In 2016, Dr. John Lantos wrote an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) admitting that withholding life-sustaining treatment from babies with Trisomy 13 and 18 was really a value judgment rather than a medical judgment.
Simon’s Law is truly an act of love.
THE “MISSOURI STANDS FOR THE UNBORN ACT”
Also this month, the Missouri legislature passed the “Missouri Stands For the Unborn Act,” the strongest pro-life bill in Missouri history. Like Simon’s Law, it is also awaiting Governor Mike Parson’s signature.
According to Missouri Right to Life, the legislation will:
- ban abortion at detection of a heartbeat at 8 weeks, if overturned
- ban abortion at 14 weeks, if overturned
- ban abortion at 18 weeks
- ban abortion when the baby can feel pain
- require 2nd custodial parent notification
- require Missouri informed consent requirements for out-of-state abortion referrals
- increase required malpractice insurance to 3 million dollars
- increase to 70% of the donation, tax credits for donations to Pregnancy Resource Centers and lift the limit on the amount of the donation
- ban abortion in Missouri when Roe v. Wade is overturned
- ban abortion for race, gender and Down Syndrome diagnosis
Legal challenges from groups like Planned Parenthood are expected.
Both of these future laws are the result of decades of effort to protect life at all stages.
It’s been a long, difficult road but with the persistence of dedicated pro-life people, we can change not only laws but also hearts and even the culture of our society.