Although many bills were offered, deliberated, and passed this past week, because of the importance of one particular bill, along with its supporting amendments, I would like to solely focus on it in this week’s Capitol Report. That bill addresses the most basic of all human rights which is the right to life.
Members of the Missouri House of Representatives passed the strongest bill in the country to protect life.
The House demonstrated to the nation that there still exists a place in America where we value and stand for the dignity for every human being. I and many other Representatives strongly believe that every infant is a gift from God and we showed that the House continues to pass laws that will protect the lives of the innocent unborn. We renew our commitment to stand for every single Missouri citizen, including the innocent, the infirm, the born and the unborn.
The bill says that a physician shall not perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman without first performing a fetal heartbeat detection test or brain function. If detected, the physician shall not perform an abortion on the unborn child. The bill includes penalty provisions for physicians that break the law but does not punish the mother. The bill prohibits all abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy (except in cases of a medical emergency), contingent upon 1 of 3 of the following criteria:
The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade,
The passage of a federal Human Life Amendment,
The passage of a federal law – like the Human Life Bill – which would empower states to further regulate abortion.
The bill also requires referrals for out-of-state abortions to be accompanied by specified printed materials. It changes the laws regarding the parental notification required for a minor to obtain an abortion and it prohibits certain selective abortions relating to sex, race, or Down Syndrome.
The bill addresses issues the 8th Circuit Court identified as concerns with similar bills and included legislative findings in the bill to strengthen its ability to survive judicial scrutiny.
The importance of this bill cannot be overstated. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 6,790 abortions were conducted in 2017. I was honored to be the first vote cast for this historic bill. I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of Missouri that says, “all persons have a natural right to life,” and I stand by that oath.