by Carolyn Steensland, Missouri State University, Bears for Life President
Anyone who lives in the Midwest (or has Internet access from any corner of the country), has probably heard of Missouri’s Senate Bill 5, a.k.a the “Pro-Life Mega-Bill”.
It’s not surprising that there have been a few articles highlighting negative aspects of the bill. Some news sources stated that this bill would allow for women to be fired from their jobs/evicted from their homes for using birth control or for having an abortion. This was simply untrue. Missouri Governor Eric Greitens released this video to clear the record. Now, let’s stick to the facts.
So, what all is really included in SB 5?
1. Regular inspections: SB 5 calls for annual, unannounced inspections of abortion facilities. This is a commonsense facet of the bill. (Not so) fun fact: Nail salons are inspected more often than abortion clinics. Pedicures are not invasive surgeries like abortions are. Does anyone else see a problem here?
2. Ambulances: SB 5 makes it a misdemeanor offense (punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison) for abortion facilities to request that ambulances turn off their lights and sirens when responding to medical emergencies at abortion facilities. This is a common sense feature of the bill. In regards to this issue, Mary Kogut, President and CEO of the Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, informed the Associated Press that “there are times where we may have asked that they siren wasn’t on so that it didn’t alarm other people.” I’m sorry – “alarm other people”? Is that not the point of lights and sirens? Inform the public about an impending emergency so cars yield to the ambulance? If you were riding in the back of an ambulance, wouldn’t you want the lights and sirens on full blast?
3. Attorney General: SB 5 gives State Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) jurisdiction to override local prosecutors to implement Missouri’s abortion laws. Permitting the state’s chief law enforcement officer (AG) to enforce the laws? Seems like a common sense characteristic of the bill to me.
4. Complications: Did you know that chemical abortions are done at home? While RU486 (Mifepristone a.k.a. the abortion pill) is administered by a doctor or nurse at the abortion facility, the second round of medication (Misoprostol) is self-administered at home. Then, after 24-48 hours the uterus is emptied. According to Planned Parenthood’s website, “it’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is similar to an early miscarriage.” In other words, the woman goes into labor at home. Currently, there are no steps to be taken if a woman has complications during this traumatic, at-home experience. SB 5 calls for a comprehensive plan of action for women to follow if they undergo complications. Does this seem like common sense? I think it does.
5. Consent: SB 5 mandates that a woman’s doctor meet with her to discuss the procedure and potential risks at least 72 hours prior to an abortion. Currently, there is a 72-hour consultation before an abortion, but it can be done by nurses/counselors/assistants. Think about any other surgery: Who meets with the patient preceding the procedure? The doctor or the office assistant? One would hope for the medical expert with years of training and experience in the field. This is a common sense feature of the bill. I’m noticing a trend here – are you?
6. Fetal tissue: It’s no secret that some abortion facilities (cough, cough, Planned Parenthood) have been guilty of selling aborted baby body parts. SB 5 mandates that all tissue from abortions (except for tissue used to identify medical problems, needed by law enforcement officials, or used for a paternity test) be submitted to a pathologist within 5 days for further review. Pathologists will then have 72 hours to review the results and submit a report to the health department. Any discrepancies in the tissue reports and the abortion reports will prompt an immediate inspection of said abortion facility. Abortion organizations make enough money manipulating women as it is; we don’t need them profiting off of the sale of aborted baby body parts. Can anyone guess what I’m about to say? (If you guessed “This is a common sense aspect of the bill”, you’d be correct).
7. Louis Ordinance: SB 5 overturns the ordinance to name St. Louis as an abortion sanctuary city. This ordinance discriminated against pro-life and religious communities; it make it illegal for these communities to hire only pro-life employees. SB 5 reinstates religious liberty and mission focused organizations hiring like-minded employees. Would you look at that… another common sense facet of the bill.
Senate Bill 5 is vital to the safety of women and children in Missouri. Abortion facilities need to be regulated just like any other medical facility. The #prolifegen of Missouri is extremely thankful for the work of Governor Eric Greitens and the other pro-life legislators in Jefferson City who work endlessly to further the progress of the pro-life movement. Abortion advocates will claim that this bill invades the privacy of women and makes it more difficult to get an abortion. However, all this bill does is ensure the safety of Missouri women. So, we’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: this bill just makes sense.
The #ProLifeGen in Missouri thanks Governor Greitens for the