St. Louis Public Radio News
9:35 am
Thu May 14, 2009

Senate approves face-to-face mandate for discussion of abortion risks

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri state House has approved legislation that requires women seeking an abortion be told about the health risks of the procedure in person.

Women must already receive that information 24 hours before getting an abortion, but are currently allowed to get the consultation over the phone.

The bill passed in an early morning vote after Republicans agreed to strip language that made it a crime to coerce a woman into getting an abortion. That was enough to convince Democrats to reluctantly drop a weeks-ling filibuster of the bill.

"We ended the filibuster because we were told that they were going to PQ us we call it the 'nuclear option' but they were going to end our filibuster, and that the version that they would force upon us would be substantially worse than the version that we negotiated," said Kansas City-area Democrat Jolie Justis.

The legislation is expected to pass the state House and reach Gov. Jay Nixon's desk. It will be the first test of a campaign promise to veto any further restrictions on abortion in Missouri.

Lawmakers Wednesday night also sent Gov. Nixon legislation that would tighten penalties for some child rapists, create a $25,000 death benefit for first responders killed in the line of duty, and block the state Department of Revenue from meeting the requirements of the federal Real ID Act.

The 2009 legislative session ends Friday at 6pm.