A bill to create the Women’s Health and Clinic Safety Act, and to reform several abortion policies is progressing in Jefferson City.
A bill generated in the Senate was passed and is now being amended in the House and may be near passage to the governor for his signature.
Senate Bill 5 would modify several provisions relating to abortion, including: tissue reports; attorney general jurisdiction; the pre-emption of political subdivision authority regarding abortion; whistle blower protections; the definition of abortion facilities; and inspections of abortion facilities.
The bill was sponsored by State Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-St. Louis County, and quickly cleared committees and was passed by the Senate on June 15.
Once in the House, the bill was referred to the committee on Children and Families and then to the Legislative Oversight committee.
In his statement calling for the special session, Greitens said there were two main abortion-related issues he wanted to see the Legislature address.
“In the city of St. Louis, some of these pregnancy care centers are under attack,” Greitens said. “There’s a new city law making St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city where pregnancy care centers can’t work the way they’re supposed to. Politicians are trying to make it illegal, for example, for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians.”
The second abortion issue is the overall safety in medical clinics where abortions are performed.
“I also believe that we should have common-sense health and safety standards in all medical facilities,” Greitens said. “A court decision from earlier this year weakened our state’s health standards in abortion clinics. So, we’re also proposing some basic standards to keep Missourians safe.”
Some of those standards include requiring annual safety inspections at abortion clinics, and the clinics should have a plan for complications.
The governor is also proposing a fix that will stop abortion clinics from interfering with emergency responders.
“If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn’t be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly, not use their lights and sirens, or to go around to the back gate, just because they are worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad,” Greitens said.
If passed by the House and signed by the governor, the new provisions will take effect 90 days after passage.