Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stouffer newsletter: Reducing the number of abortions in Missouri

In his latest newsletter, Sen. Bill Stouffer, a candidate for the Republican Fourth District Congressional nomination, talks about the decrease in abortions in Missouri:

Missouri now ranks as the fourth most pro-life state in the nation. This is up from 11th just last year. Since 2005, the General Assembly has worked tirelessly to make this happen. Even though abortion remains legal in this country, the Show-Me State is leading the way in legislation that offers real alternatives for folks to choose life over death for our unborn children.

For instance, Senate Bill 793 will become law on August 28 — without the governor’s signature. Among other provisions, the measure requires that a woman seeking an abortion reviews materials that detail risks of the procedure to the mother and child. These include photos that detail the child’s life every two weeks. It would also give the mother the chance to hear the unborn child’s heartbeat and see an ultrasound, all within 24 hours of the procedure.

In addition to written, informed consent, Senate Bill 793 will require the doctor to explain alternatives and provide access for counseling resources. Plus, the new law will make sure that the mother is reminded of the father’s financial responsibility in taking care of the child. I served as co-sponsor of this legislation.

This bill is just the latest in a series of measures that have come from the state Legislature over the past five years. Missouri has some very stringent rules that ensure abortion is not the only option available, including:

· Missouri requires that 24 hours prior to an abortion, a woman be informed of risks of the proposed abortion procedure.

· A physician may not perform an abortion on certain minors under the age of 18 without the informed, written consent of one parent or a court order.

· Missouri prohibits public funds from being used for abortions unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the life of the woman or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

· Public facilities may not be used for performing, assisting in or counseling a woman on abortion unless it is necessary to preserve the woman's life.

· Health insurance policies are prohibited from including coverage for abortion unless an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the woman or an optional rider is purchased.

· Missouri prohibits partial-birth abortion.

· The state has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The measure applies to both surgical and nonsurgical abortions and requires abortion providers to report short-term complications.

One thing all Missourians can agree on is the importance of life and that reducing the number of abortions in our state is a positive step forward. Fortunately, leaders in our state agree with this sentiment as well.

No comments: