Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Missouri Senate passes new restrictions on abortion in late-night vote

Missouri lawmaker beheads chicken on Facebook Live during abortion bill announcement	 	 	 			Missouri State Rep. Mike Moon Missouri lawmaker beheads chicken on Facebook Live during abortion bill announcement Missouri State Rep. Mike Moon
Doris Mccormick | 16 June, 2017, 05:51

Gov. Eric Greitens called lawmakers back into session this week, saying immediate action was needed because of a federal judge's recent ruling striking down some of Missouri's regulations on abortion providers. The initial vote came after senators convened more than 10 hours later than originally planned because of prolonged negotiations between lawmakers. He also voted in favor of an "emergency clause" for the bill, which senators failed to pass by just a few votes. She described the proposals pending in the Legislature as a "broad attack on women's reproductive rights". Greitens has repeatedly criticized lawmakers as career politicians.

The bill also gives more time than lawmakers originally proposed - five business days instead of 24 hours - for abortion clinics to submit fetal tissue from abortions for examination by pathologists, who would get 72 hours to submit a report.

"We've got to raise our voices together and tell them, 'Not on our watch, '" he told a crowd of roughly 200, many of whom held signs that read "protect life".

The latest version also gives the attorney general authority to prosecute violations of abortions laws, but only if local prosecutors don't act first. But critics say pregnancy resource centers often pose as medical clinics while providing inaccurate information created to scare women away from having an abortion.

Dueling rallies on both sides of the abortion issue were present at the Missouri Capitol this week.

A Missouri lawmaker says he posted a Facebook video of himself decapitating and butchering a chicken on his farm Monday to show he was working before being called back for a legislative session on abortion.

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Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said Wednesday that his ethics committee won't have a hearing on the proposal because the focus of the special session is abortion. The charity helps veterans transition to the private-sector through volunteer work.

Kehoe says the call for an investigation could be taken up again during the next regularly scheduled session, which starts in January. Missouri also already bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions, one of 17 states with that limit.

The legislation on Wednesday sparked Capitol rallies by abortion supporters and opponents, including an anti-abortion rally led by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

If passed by the House, the Senate bill would nullify a St. Louis ordinance banning discrimination in housing and employment based on "reproductive health decisions" such as abortion or pregnancies. "Republican senators know this, or they would have allowed the hundreds of people rallying at the Capitol on Wednesday take part in the process".

Now only local prosecutors have jurisdiction in these matters, but anti-abortion activists contend that leaves enforcement in the hands of elected prosecutors in more liberal areas of the state, such as Kansas City and St. Louis.

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