Legislative column

I am most happy to report that the time spent in Jefferson City over the last month has ended in a victory. On Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 22-9, Senate Bill 5 passed. Once it is signed by the governor, it will become law.

Despite some passionate debate, the Senate chose to accept the language the House had added to the bill. This means all of the provisions added by the House will become law in Missouri.

Some of the key provisions in Senate Bill 5 will:

  • Overturn the St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance and prohibit other municipalities from passing similar ordinances; prohibit forcing religious schools to hire abortion advocates as teachers and landlords from renting to abortion clinics; prohibit harassment of pregnancy resource centers;
  • Requires Missouri Department of Health to make annual, on-site and unannounced inspections of abortion facilities;
  • Require that only physicians who are licensed to practice in the state of Missouri may perform or induce abortions in an abortion facility located in Missouri;
  • Require the physician themselves meet with patients 72 hours before the procedure is to be performed;
  • Require abortion facilities to have written policies for managing an emergency and transferring patients to a hospital;
  • Require all fetal tissue from an abortion to be submitted to a board eligible pathologist for examination; pathologist must report to the Missouri Department of Health; and
  • Grant the Missouri attorney general equal authority, along with prosecutors, to enforce Missouri abortion laws.

I appreciate all of the feedback I have gotten on this matter. It is important to me to hear the voices of my constituents and I encourage each of you to reach out to my office to voice your support or opposition to matters within our region and state.

Mike Cunningham is a Republican member of the Missouri State Senate, representing District 33. Contact him at 573-751-1882 or www.senate.mo.gov/cunningham

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