Straight Up with Sherri

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Slice and Dice on Pro-Life

Panel scales back abortion bill

Legislators drop language Springfield providers say was aimed at closing clinics.

James Goodwin

Jefferson City — It's a rare day, an abortion-rights supporter noted, when she sides with a Missouri Right to Life lobbyist.

Yet there they were Monday, testifying before a House committee against a bill to restrict abortions.

"This may be the only time I get to go on record on the same side ...," said Alison Gee of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

Of course, Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life thought Senate Bill 2, which was soon to be scaled back, would lose some of its greatest worth.

Among the provisions dropped was a requirement that doctors who provide abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Springfield Healthcare Center officials said previously they viewed the provision as an attempt to shut down clinics that provide abortions.


Republican leaders are concerned that certain language would ban therapeutic cloning, which scientists hope someday will lead to a cure for various diseases and injuries. Other worries are that the legislation would outlaw a popular fertility treatment and that particular language wouldn't withstand judicial review.

Also removed from the bill were provisions that would have:

• Prohibited abortion providers from providing sex education information at public schools.

• Authorized tax credits for donations to "pregnancy resource centers" that counsel against abortion.

• Allowed the state to sell "Respect Life" license plates.



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