Passage of Historic Pro-Life Bill, SB 5

July 26, 2017, JEFFERSON CITY — On July 26, 2017, Governor Greitens signed into law historic pro-life legislation. The Governor’s signature came one day after the Missouri Senate voted 22 to 9 to pass HCS SS SB 5. The Missouri Catholic Conference, Missouri Right to Life, Campaign Life Missouri, and others worked cooperatively to spearhead passage of the bill.

The new law, which becomes effective on October 23, 2017, features numerous pro-life provisions, including: requiring annual, on-site, and unannounced inspections of abortion clinics and for clinics to have emergency measures in place for botched abortions; ensuring that women hear medical information from a doctor before deciding whether to obtain an abortion; largely overturning the St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance, and prohibiting other municipalities from passing similar ordinances. Finally, the new law will allow the Missouri Attorney General to enforce the state’s abortion laws when local prosecutors fail to do so.

Mike Hoey, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, hailed the passage of the new law. “This is the strongest pro-life law passed in many decades,” he said. “We are very grateful for the work of both Governor Greitens and the Missouri General Assembly.”

The Senate had passed an earlier version of SB 5 on June 15 that largely focused on overturning the St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance. This ordinance sought to force pregnancy resource centers and regular citizens to aid and abet the abortion industry.

The Missouri House kept the rollback on the “abortion sanctuary” provision in SB 5 and added many other pro-life provisions. When the Senate took up the House amended version of SB 5, opponents waged a two-day filibuster before sponsor Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester) made a motion to end debate and proceed to a vote on the bill. 19 senators agreed to the Koenig motion, despite a Senate tradition of rarely ending debate by calling for the previous question. The Senate then approved the measure by a vote of 22 in favor to 9 opposed.

Hoey credited parishes and the Missouri Catholic Advocacy Network (MOCAN) for a great deal of the success. “There was tremendous reluctance to end debate, but I think senators realized their constituents back home expected passage of this historic pro-life bill,” he said.

To see how senators and representatives voted, click here.


July 25, 2017, JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate reconvened on Tuesday, July 25 for a special session and passed SB 5, a historic pro-life bill, with a 22 to 9 vote in favor of the bill.

As passed, this legislation will protect the health and safety of women, require unannounced inspections of abortion clinics, ensure that women hear medical information from a doctor before deciding whether to obtain an abortion, overturn the St. Louis “abortion sanctuary” ordinance and prohibit other municipalities from passing similar ordinances, and much more.

The Missouri Catholic Conference has supported this bill throughout the special session as it moved through the Senate successfully, then as it was amended by the House, and finally sent back to the Senate once more for approval.

The Missouri Catholic Conference thanks Governor Greitens for calling the special session, and also expresses gratitude towards the Missouri senators and representatives who have worked tirelessly to pass this historic bill and uphold the sanctity of life. After the passage of SB 5, Missouri is once again one of our nation’s strongest pro- life leaders.

To read the text of the bill on the Missouri Senate site, click here.

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