Missouri Advances Wide-Ranging Pro-Life Bill

The state House of Representatives in Missouri voted last week to enact a new and broad array of pro-life restrictions on abortions in the Show-Me State.

The bill passed handily by a 91-37 vote and bans taxpayer funding of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and stops the distribution of abortion drugs. The bill is also designed to prohibit the donation of fetal tissue obtained from abortions and requires medical care for newborn babies who survive abortion procedures.

The bill that is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Hannah Kelly was created as a measure to make it a state felony to donate aborted fetal tissue for any purpose not related to diagnosing anomalies or law enforcement purposes. As the bill made its way to a final vote on the state House floor the additional pro-life provisions were added by various amendments.

Kelly said that the passage of the bill establishes Missouri’s record of protecting unborn life.

The “born-alive” amendment added by Republican state Rep. Sara Walsh provides certain family members a right to bring wrongful death lawsuits against abortionists when a child who initially survives the procedure later dies.

Republican state Rep. Brian Seitz added an amendment making it a felony to knowingly prescribe, distribute, or administer abortion-inducing drugs in the state. The amendment also makes it illegal for out-of-state pharmacies to deliver such drugs anywhere inside Missouri.

Rep. Kelly posted a tweet last week declaring the new bill sends a “resounding message” that Missouri protects unborn life.

The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration and a vote. It is expected to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. If it does pass there, it will be sent to Republican Governor Mike Parson who is expected to sign it with enthusiasm.

Missouri has previously enacted a pro-life “trigger law,” meaning abortions would be automatically prohibited in the state in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. The Roe ruling provides that state and local governments cannot prohibit abortions before fetal viability.

The court is currently considering its decision in a case it accepted arising from the application of a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. In that case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court has been expressly asked to overturn Roe, sending decisions about abortions back to each state to handle individually. A final decision in Dobbs is expected by the end of the court’s current term, around the end of June.