Missouri’s Governor Signed an Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill into Law

Written by Kelsey Cochran

Missouri’s Governor Greitens called for a special legislative session last month with the intent to further restrict abortion access in the state. Among the myriad pieces of legislation introduced and debated in the body during the session, Senate Bill 5 was not extremely popular among legislators, who complained about having a special session for something that did not constitute as an emergency. Nevertheless, in late July, Missouri’s senate approved of the bill. Governor Greitens signed the bill into law the following day.

SB5 outlines a number of provisions meant to restrict access to abortion in the state, including forced counseling for women seeking abortions by a physician 72 hours before the procedure focused solely on the possible medical risks the patient might experience following the abortion, unnecessary pathological testing of fetal organs and tissues after a pregnancy is terminated and required annual unannounced inspections of facilities that provide abortions.

“After seven weeks of wasting time and taxpayer dollars, Gov. Greitens has finally accomplished what he set out to do: appease his political base by further restricting Missouri women’s access to basic healthcare,” NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri’s Alison Dreith said in a statement. “Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with ripping away access to constitutionally protected healthcare. This entire emergency session was nothing more than free advertising for Greitens’ personal political ambitions, where women were treated as pawns to satisfy his desire for higher office. NARAL members will continue to hold Gov. Greitens and his anti-choice allies accountable for their harmful and out-of-touch agenda.”

The language used in SB5 is deceitful, framing the law as a measure put in place to protect patients when it is, in reality, a TRAP law intended to make it harder for abortion providers to do their jobs. “All healthcare facilities need to be inspected by the health department, that’s a no-brainer,” Dr. Carole Joffe, reproductive rights advocate and sociologist at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco, told Ms. when the Missouri special session began. “With TRAP laws, abortion clinics are treated differently than other parts of the healthcare system.” Laws like SB5, she noted, put anti-abortion extremists in a position to harass clinic staff and doctors with the assistance of the state government.

“Missouri’s abortion laws are already some of the most restrictive in the nation,” Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri Director of Policy and Organizing M’Evie Mead said in a statement. “Federal courts have blocked some of those medically unnecessary restrictions. This political theater is an expensive and ideological ploy to end abortion access in the state. The notion that this session has any benefit for patients’ health and safety is nonsense, and Missourians are smart enough to know that.”

This post originally appeared on Ms. Magazine.

Photo Credit: Madmanmikey/Flickr

53 comments

Amanda M
Amanda M2 months ago

Abortion is a woman's choice, and it is a LEGAL one. Nobody, ESPECIALLY not a man, has any right to interfere with a woman's decision regarding an unwanted or medically doomed pregnancy, no matter what it is! That goes DOUBLE for politicians and religious leaders! Against abortion? Just don't have one! Against contraception? Just don't use it. However, you anti-choicers need to stop interfering with other women's access to reproductive health care, and I mean ALL of it. When you start adopting older kids and providing homes for those kids in foster care so that there's none left in either category, THEN you can be called genuine "pro-lifers." But as long as you are interfering with women's reproductive health access and passing more BS laws that prevent women from accessing their care, you are ANTI-CHOICERS. Period.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie F3 months ago

Thank you

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Chad A
Chad A3 months ago

Missouri? This is awful.

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Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Karen H
Karen H3 months ago

A friend of mine died having an illegal abortion between junior and senior years in high school. We didn't know she was pregnant. She was a beautiful person, and was one of many women and girls lost to back alley abortions. Missouri will have even more.

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx3 months ago

Still living in the mediaval times ?? I think so. When it becomes practically impossible for women to get an abortion at a proper, hygienic clinic, and performed by a well specialized doctor, there are no dangers to be feared. However, when they make legal abortion nearly impossible, we will return to the old fashioned methods, with all kinds of soaps, all kind of knitting needles, etc.. Hygiene ?? Never heard of. It was something done by a woman, in a dark place, mostly the basement, so that people could not hear the "victims" cry out of pain. And than the day after, having a huge fever, running to a clinic where they will find a huge infection. The risk the woman will not get pregnant anymore is not unthinkable... This was so 50 / 60 years ago, when maids were raped by the Duke and his friends, and the girl (15/16 years) could of course not have a baby whilst working in his castle... The Good Old Days are coming back ??????? Hypocrites who are now shouting the hardest, are the first to seduce a 16 year old. Always has been that way.....

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Jen S
Jen S4 months ago

Missouri is nothing but consistent, with both feet firmly planted in the sixth century.
(It is beautiful, though.)

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers4 months ago

Thanks.

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Karen H
Karen H4 months ago

If they really, truly want to stop abortion, providing comprehensive sex education and access to contraception would be two big steps. Their goal is control.

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Marija M
Marija M4 months ago

OMG, what a "clever" governor...

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