Morning headlines: Thursday, March 31, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mar 31, 2011

Opening Day in St. Louis  is Here

Albert Pujols is about to begin what could be his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. The team expects a rousing welcome for the three-time NL MVP, even though Pujols is playing hardball off the field. Year 11 for Pujols, all with the Cardinals, begins today at Busch Stadium against the San Diego Padres. Game time is 3:15 p.m.

House Redistricting Map Would Eliminate Third District

A Missouri House committee is proposing to consolidate the two congressional districts in the city of St. Louis into a single district. Missouri is losing one of its nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after theCensus  recorded population changes. The House version of the map eliminates what’s currently the Third District, represented by Democrat Russ Carnahan. House Republican leaders say the map unveiled Wednesday night is just a starting point for negotiations on re-districting.

The Missouri Senate is expected to release its redistricting proposal next week.

Missouri Senate Approves More Restrictions on Late-Term Abortions

The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to legislation adding more restrictions to the state's law on late-term abortions. The legislation received first-round approval Wednesday by a voice vote after the leading Democratic opponent and the Republican Senate leader struck a compromise. The measure still would remove an exception referring generally to a women's health from the state's current ban on aborting viable fetuses. But Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer agreed to remove a proposed new definition on when a fetus would be considered viable. That helped persuade Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus to quit blocking the bill from coming to a vote.  

Figures from the Missouri health department show there were 63 abortions in 2009 on fetuses at least 21 weeks old, none of which were reported as viable.