Missouri House sends expanded abortion bill back to Senate

A much larger abortion bill is on its way back to the Missouri Senate, after the House loaded it up with more regulations Tuesday.

That’s the opposite of the approach the upper chamber took last week, when it removed several items as a means of keeping Democrats from blocking the bill via filibuster. The bill passed the House 110-38 along party lines.

The primary objectives of the bill remain unchanged: It would block the city of St. Louis from enforcing a local ordinance that protects women from job and housing discrimination based on whether they have an abortion, use birth control, or are pregnant. It would also require annual, unannounced inspection of abortion clinics.

But the House version of the bill includes several additions.

The House made a big tweak to Missouri’s 72-hour notification law: Only the doctor who is to perform an abortion would be required to inform the patient of the risks involved with the procedure. Current law allows for either the doctor or another “qualified professional” to explain the risks.

Other additions include giving the attorney general sole authority to enforce the state’s abortion laws. The House also restored two provisions that Gov. Eric Greitens wants: making it a crime for abortion clinic employees to interfere with emergency medical personnel; and requiring clinics to have plans for complications arising from drug or chemically-induced abortions. The House also restored a provision requiring that fetal tissue be submitted to a pathologist within five business days.

Read more: Missourinet, St. Louis Public Radio

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