Abortion Bill Adds To Debate
Governor blunt signed the bill Friday, changing abortion laws and sex education in schools.
Those on the pro-life side of the road, like Columbia's Open Arms, call the bill a victory. Those on the pro-choice side, like Planned Parenthood, consider the bill a step backwards for women's rights and sex education.
The new bill has three main parts:
First, it prohibits representatives from abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood from speaking in public school classrooms.
Second, it forces clinics to meet higher medical and structural standards if they offer second or third trimester abortions or perform more than five first term abortions per month.
Lastly, the bill makes permanent the "Missouri Alternatives to Abortion Services Program," a program that helps low-income pregnant women get prenatal care and necessities like food.
Supporters of the bill say the new clinic standards are about safety.
"As far as the requirements for abortion clinics, that they have to meet the safety standards that will help ensure that the women who come to their centers are adequate taken care of," said Nile Abele of Open Arms.
Planned Parenthood says the restrictions aren't about safety at all.
"Door sizes and carpet... height... you know, and just all sorts of structural changes that have nothing to do with improving the women's health and safety, nothing to do with preventing unintended pregnancy," said Michelle Trupiano, Planned Parenthood.
The bill goes into effect August 28. If clinics haven't complied with the stricter surgical standards by then, they must stop offering abortions. Those clinics would, however, be allowed to continue on-site educational programs and other clinical operation.