Missouri legislative session ends without passing pro-life bills

Pro-lifers in Missouri are lamenting that the state legislature’s 2016 session ended Friday without taking action on a series pro-life bills, despite a Republican supermajority capable of overriding Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s vetoes.

The bills would have proposed a constitutional amendment to recognize preborn babies as persons, banned the sale of human tissue from aborted babies, strengthen laws on abortion facility inspections and licensing as well as tracking aborted babies’ remains, and ban abortions sought on the basis of Down syndrome.

“We had so many of these hearings, discussions and investigations last fall and those determined that there were definitely holes in the procedures in the state of Missouri that could allow this kind of harvesting to take place,” explained Missouri Right to Life Executive Director Patty Skain on why the group had considered the fetal-tissue bills important priorities.

However, Republican State Senator Bob Onder, who sponsored the fetal-tissue bills, maintains that this is not defeat, but merely biding their time until the Supreme Court rules on abortion clinic regulations: “Whether they go the right way and abide by the previous precedence and uphold the Texas law or whether they have some other decision, I think that will guide legislation going forward.”

This year the legislature did eliminate taxpayer funding for abortion facilities in a budget Nixon signed. Overall, Americans United for Life ranks Missouri the ninth most pro-life state in America.

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