Thursday morning at 4 a.m., the Missouri Senate passed what I believe is the strongest pro-life bill in our state’s history. It may even be the strongest pro-life bill in our country.
Throughout the evening, we stood in defense of life as some members of the Senate threatened to filibuster the legislation.
This action would have forced supporters to use a controversial and rarely used procedural motion known as “moving the previous question,” or a “PQ.”
In the Missouri Senate, this procedure is considered the nuclear option. If used, it could have resulted in a shutdown of the Senate with no further business being completed before the constitutionally-mandated last day of the legislative session on May 17 at 6 p.m.
Instead, leadership worked through hours of negotiations to move this legislation to a position that would allow its passage, while keeping the Senate open. I believe the product of our work will save the lives of thousands of unborn children in our state. House Bill 126 does the following:
· Prohibits abortions once a heartbeat has been detected;
· Prohibits abortions when a baby is capable of feeling pain; and
· Outlaws abortions in Missouri upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
This life-saving legislation is full of even more provisions that protect the intent of this important bill from legal challenges and threatening rulings from the judicial branch. It also expands an existing tax credit for pro-life pregnancy resource centers. These centers provide medical care for low-income individuals at little or no cost.
I’m proud of the work done by my colleagues in the Missouri Senate to defend life. Without the right to life, no other right matters. House Bill 126 still needs to receive final approval from the Missouri House of Representatives before heading to the governor’s desk for his signature. I eagerly anticipate standing with our pro-life allies in the House and the governor when this bill is signed into law.