Cunningham Report 6.29.2017

This week the House of Representatives was busy working through Senate Bill 5, the legislation the Senate approved last week in response to the governor’s call for a special session. The special session was called to address a St. Louis ordinance in regards to women’s reproductive rights, along with a ruling by a federal judge that changed some abortion laws in our state.

The Senate took up Senate Bill 5 early the week of June 12. Just after midnight on June 15, the Senate voted 20-8 to send the bill to the House. Senate Bill 5 includes new regulations and provisions regarding pathology reports on fetal remains. There are also increased whistle-blower protections for abortion clinic employees who report any illegal activity or infractions of the law.

Once passed, the bill will also preempt the St. Louis City ordinance that is negatively impacting faith-based crisis pregnancy centers.

After debate in the House, on June 20, with a vote of 110-38, that body passed Senate Bill 5, which changes several new abortion laws in the state.

The legislation restored provi-sions taken out by the Senate, including a provision that creates the crime of interference with medical assistance. The change in language would make it so any employee of an abortion facility could be punished, should they prevent medical personnel from normal standards of care for women undergoing an abortion but experiencing compli-cations.

The House added language into the bill which would change the state’s consent laws regarding abortion. Only the physician performing the procedure or the referring physician will be able to have a conference regarding the woman’s options or discuss compli-cations under the new legislation. The fetal tissue reporting require-ments are still contained in the new version of Senate Bill 5.

The Senate will have to return to the Capitol to address the changes the House made to Senate Bill 5.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.