Missouri Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Important Pro-life Legislation

Missouri Right to Life Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2014

For Information

The following statement can be attributed to Pam Fichter, President:

Late in the evening on September 10, the Missouri legislature gave final approval to override Governor Nixon’s veto of two very important pro-life bills and one line item veto of a budget increase for Missouri’s Alternatives to Abortion Program. To shut down the filibuster by pro-abortion senators the senate used the rare procedural maneuver of calling for the previous question.

The override of HB 1307 was passed with strong bi-partisan support by votes of 117 to 44 in the House and by 23 to 7 in the Senate. The override of HB 1132 also received bi-partisan support and was passed in the House by 123 to 36 and in the Senate by 27 to 2. The line item veto was overridden by a vote of 120 to 36 in the House and a vote of 28 to 1 In the Senate.

HB 1307 increases the time of reflection after counseling before an abortion can be performed from 24 hours to 72 hours. This reflection time gives a women time to contemplate her situation, research information about the dangers and consequences of abortion and review the help and resources that are available to her through the alternatives to abortion program and other sources.

HB 1132 increases the maximum funding available for pregnancy resource centers through tax credits. As abortions continue to decrease, see chart here, more and more women are choosing life and are in need of help and services. This increase in available funds for tax credits will help provide those services.

These bills work together to protect the women of Missouri and ensure that in this matter of life and death, they don’t make a decision that will have a detrimental effect on them both physically and emotionally. Pro-lifers across Missouri are so thankful and pleased that these bills are going into effect.

We thank the sponsors of these bills. We thank all the legislators who voted for these bills and these overrides. We are especially grateful to the Speaker of the House, Tim Jones and President Pro Tem of the Senate, Tom Dempsey.

MRL Joins Speaker Tim Jones for Press Conferences on Override Effort

Tim-JonesMissouri Right to Life will be joining Speaker Tim Jones for press conferences in:

Carthage, MO, Jasper County Courthouse, 10:30 a.m., Sept. 8

Springfield, MO, Pregnancy Resource Center, 1:00 p.m., Sept. 8

Jefferson City, Pregnancy Help Center of Central MO, 1:00 p.m. Sept. 9

to discuss upcoming efforts to override Governor Nixon’s vetoes on important pro-life measures.

“This year, Governor Nixon vetoed two of Missouri Right to Life’s highest-priority bills – the 72 hour abortion reflection period extension and the expansion of the tax credit for contributions to pregnancy resource centers. These two measures are vital to ensuring Missouri continues to lead the way on pro-life legislation, and we hope that the General Assembly will override the Governor’s vetoes on both when they convene for veto session.  Protecting life must be our state’s number one goal,” said Susan Klein, Legislative Liaison.

Action Needed: Veto Session Rally – Sept 10th – Join Us!

capitolCall your Senator and Representative today! Ask them to vote to override Governor Nixon’s veto of:

HB 1307 – Would guarantee that a woman has 72 hours to reflect on whether to have an abortion.

HB 1132 – Would increase the amount of tax credits available to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes. These tax credits are saving lives!

Line Item Veto – With the override of HB 1132 the $500,000 vetoed in the budget bill would need to be restored by overriding the line item veto.

To find contact information for your legislators all you need is your 9 digit zip. Go to http://senate.mo.gov/ at lower left use legislator look up search.

Join us for all the excitement on Sept 10th. First, come to Selinger Center next to St. Peter Church to purchase a red Missouri Right to Life t-shirt or polo shirt. Then meet in the capitol rotunda for the override rally featuring pro-life speakers at 12:00 noon.

For more information, visit: http://www.missourilife.org/assets/2014veto_session_alert.pdf

Governor Vetoes Bill Increasing Tax Credit Dollars for PRCs and Maternity Homes

nixon2“Missouri Right to Life is very disappointed that Governor Nixon has vetoed the tax credit increase for pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes,” said Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life.

“This law, when passed over the governor’s veto, will save babies and protect women, both adults and minors by giving more dollars to pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to help women in crisis pregnancies.”

Click for MRL press release

More info: Vetoes mean now is the time to act

Governor Denies Women The Protection of a 72-hr Reflection Period

Missouri Right to Life Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2014

For Information

The following statement can be attributed to Pam Fichter, President:

Missouri Right to Life is profoundly disappointed that Governor Nixon has taken this step to deny women in crisis pregnancies the protection of a 72-hr reflection period. HB 1307 will, when passed over the governor’s veto, extend the current 24-hour reflection period after consultation to 72 hours before a woman has an abortion. This extra time will allow a woman to reflect on all her options before deciding to go forward with an abortion. Governor Nixon has vetoed a bill that would save babies and protect women from abortion clinics seeking to make a profit on an abortion.

Abortion is a life-changing procedure. It ends the life of an unborn baby; a decision that can never be undone. The procedure can also be harmful to the mother. In making this decision, women need time to review all the medical information and the alternatives available. This bill provides that.

We urge all pro-life legislators of both political parties to vote to override the Governor’s veto of HB 1307.

2014 Legislative Session Wrap-Up: Many Successes – Few Disappointments

capitolMissouri Right to Life thanks the Missouri Legislature for the many successes of this legislative session.  There were true acts of courage and commitment to protecting innocent human life. We also want to thank our lobbyist Susan Klein for her tireless efforts and willingness to stand alone against great opposition to advance the legislative priorities of Missouri Right to Life.

Passage of the 72-hour Reflection Period, when signed by the Governor, will extend the current 24-hour reflection period after consultation with the abortionist to 72 hours. This law will allow women adequate time to make this life-changing decision.

Various pro-life programs have played a large part in the reduction of abortions in Missouri from a high of 21,761 in 1980 to 9,027 in 2012 (the latest figures available).  The Alternatives to Abortion program, which funds grants to pregnancy resource centers, and the Tax Credit Program for Pregnancy Resource Centers and Maternity Home donations were protected during this session.  The tax credit program cap was raised to $2.5 million from $2 million.  These programs provide assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Pro-life protective language was added to one $4.5 million program in HB 2007 to guarantee that these public funds would not be used to clone and kill embryos in the name of economic development.

In addition, MRL along with the help of courageous pro-life legislators working against incredible pressure from pro-cloning interest groups, stopped HB 1495 from passing without pro-life protective language that was stripped from the bill in the Senate.  The passage of this bill could have funded the cloning and killing of human embryos in the name of economic development.  These efforts prevented the taxpayers of Missouri from becoming partners in research that could have destroyed countless human embryos.

Missouri Right to Life testified in favor of and promoted the Show Me Healthy Babies Program as a stand-alone bill. When that bill did not advance, the language of the Healthy Babies Program was successfully amended on a different health care bill.  This bill is on its way to the governor.   This is a health insurance program for low income unborn children to ensure a healthy baby is born.

Also amended on that same health bill was language requiring the Department of Health and Senior Services to establish cord blood collection sites across the state for transportation to the St Louis Cord Blood Bank.  Missouri Right to Life also testified in favor of and promoted this original bill.

In spite of all these wonderful successes, it is a great disappointment that the Missouri legislature did not advance HB 1478 and/or SB 770.  HB 1478 and SB 770 would have statutorily required annual on-site inspections of abortion clinics.  While the language requiring one annual on-site inspection was amended to SB 660 in the House, a budget prioritization bill, that bill did not make it through the Senate in the last days of the session.  These inspection bills were critical to the safety of women seeking abortion services in Missouri.  Twenty-three ambulances have been called to the Planned Parenthood facility in St. Louis in the last 4 years.  In addition, after many complaints an inspection of that facility was done and numerous violations were recorded.  To views a list of those violations go to missourlife.org.

Senator Wayne Wallingford and Rep. Kathy Swan are committed to pre-file on December 1, of this year for the 2015 legislative session and bring back legislation for one annual on-site inspection of abortion clinics to ensure protection of women’s health care.

MRL will be reviewing all bills and amendments that passed in the final days and hours of the 2014 legislative session.  Look for a complete update in the next MRL news.

MO House Passes Budget Prioritization Bill Amended to Include One Annual On-Site Inspection of Abortion Clinics

Missouri Right to Life Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 15, 2014

For Information

The following statement can be attributed to Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life:

Yesterday, the Missouri House passed HCS SB 660. This bill, in addition to establishing priorities for the budget, will also place in statute requirements for one annual on-site inspection and lead to more accountability for abortion clinics. It will establish statutory requirements rather than relying solely on regulations for oversight of abortion clinics and will be less subject to the agenda of a particular agency or political party. Even though there are regulatory requirements for clinic inspections, the most recent report on Planned Parenthood shows that these aren’t being enforced.

Atrocities at abortion clinics in Pennsylvania and Texas and multiple violations of health requirements at the St. Louis Planned Parenthood facility where 23 ambulances have been called in the last 4 years illustrate the need for this legislation. A number of these emergencies occurred in 2013 even after an inspection showed some of the following clinic and personnel risks were supposedly corrected.

St. Louis Planned Parenthood Health Violations:

  • Violations of infection prevention protocol
  • Rusty surgical tables, suction abortion machines, IV stands, and other equipment
  • “Copious amounts of dust” in surgical rooms and on equipment
  • Retained left-over drugs that were to be destroyed after a single use
  • Expired drugs
  • Expired postpartum balloons used to reduce hemorrhage after abortion
  • Lack of appropriate drug-handling policies
  • Hiring individuals without performing a mandated search of the Employee Disqualification List

With these types of violations and the apparent medical emergencies that have taken place at the Planned Parenthood in St Louis, one safety inspection per year is the bare minimum necessary to promote safety for the women turning to this facility.

We call upon the Missouri Senate to take up and pass HCS SB 660 to provide oversight of abortion facilities and provide safety for all Missouri women.


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