Governor Signs Abortion Restrictions Bill

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SPRINGIELD, Mo. — Pro-choice agencies are speaking out after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) signed into law legislation that will place more restrictions on abortion clinics. 

The new law requires annual, unannounced inspections at clinics, a complication plan for medication-induced abortions, later, and gives the Attorney General  jurisdiction in certain circumstances. 

Supporters of the bill say it law makes abortion clinics safer.  Some say the law hinders options for women. 

“I know that as soon as I walk through those glass doors, I know that my questions will be answered in a fact-based,  a non scare-tactic way,” said Lindsay  Maldonado, Planned Parenthood patient.

Maldonado’s been a patient of Planned Parenthood since she was 19.

“I started taking oral contraceptive thanks to Planned Parenthood,” she said. 

She says birth control helped her address health issues and that that’s only one example of services the organization provides, although it’s usually associated with abortions. 

“That’s just part of what Planned Parenthood does,” Maldonado said. “Although that’s a choice that I might not make, I do acknowledge and respect that that’s a decision that other women in Missouri do make.”

Wednesday, Governor Eric Greitens signed into law legislation that will place more restrictions on abortion clinics. It requires annual, unannounced inspections at clinics; a complication plan if medication-induced abortion later requires surgical procedures; and gives the Attorney General jurisdiction in certain circumstances.

“I think that’s another thing that makes sense, get another set of eyes on it and make sure our abortions laws are being enforced,” said sponsor of the bill, State Senator Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester.

The bill also requires fetal tissue to be examined and tracked and enhances protections for whistleblowers who provide information of violations at clinics where they work.

It’s not yet clear how this bill will impact services at abortion clinics. But a Planned Parenthood representative says it won’t keep the agency from providing care.

Representative Diane Franklin, a co-sponsor of the bill, says the law makes abortion clinics safer.

“What it really means is for women who are seeking abortions, is that they can be assured that medical and safety standards will be in place,” Franklin said.

Angie Postal, director of public policy at Planned Parenthood says the agency is reviewing the new law to determine its impact.

“We are looking at all of our options and talking to our physicians and experts on how we can comply with the new law while still protecting the health and safety of our patients,” she said.

The health organization considered providing abortion services in Springfield and Joplin for the first time. Postal wasn’t clear on whether or not this new legislation will affect that decision.

“We are going to look into that,” she said. “We know that’s certainly our hope to provide that care in Southwest Missouri.”

Regardless of what happens, some say the law hinders options for women.

“I think that Missouri women are intelligent, they deserve to be educated and empowered, and they know what’s best for their bodies,” said Maldonado. “And for the legislation to pass bills like SB 5, I think it’s incredibly disrespectful.”

Naral Pro -Choice Missouri also released a statement after the Governor’s signing of the law. It said in part: “This emergency session was a political theater for a governor who cares more about grooming himself for higher office than the health and well-being of women across Missouri.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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