Missouri governor leads anti-abortion rally

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"So today, I'm filing a bill that will lead to the stopping of abortion in the state of Missouri, and I hope you'll support it". Currently, the only Missouri clinic performing abortions is in St. Louis.

After more than 10 hours of closed-door meetings Wednesday, the Senate took up and passed legislation sponsored by Sen.

The measure under consideration would also allow the state attorney general, now Republican abortion opponent Josh Hawley, authority to prosecute violations of abortion laws.

"If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn't be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly - to not use their lights and sirens - or to go around to the back gate, just because they are anxious that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad", Greitens said in a news release.

The ruling, which the state is appealing, tossed out requirements that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that clinics meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, took a hard-line approach that would have guaranteed a filibuster and risked a forced vote that could shut down the Senate.

"We want to protect life", Greitens said Wednesday afternoon at an anti-abortion rally at the Capitol.

Greitens spoke to a crowd of roughly 200 people Wednesday as lawmakers considered new restrictions on abortion, including annual clinic inspections. He's proposed an exhibit of abortion tools next to the slavery exhibit in his state's capitol building.

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The National Abortion Rights Action League's was quick to respond, tweeting: "Rep Moon beheaded a chicken on-camera to prove a point". But in the latest version, senators tempered that power and said the state's top law enforcement official can only step in if local officials don't act.

Some Missouri Republican lawmakers have been trying to pass more stringent laws dealing with fetal tissue since the 2015 release of undercover videos by anti-abortion activists, who said the videos showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of tissue.

The equally well attended events were staged in the midst of a special legislative session called by Governor Greitens for the objective of passing stronger abortion laws.

In April, a federal judge granted Planned Parenthood's request to block state abortion clinic regulations, arguing that they hurt women's access to abortion.

Lawmakers are considering requiring annual inspections for abortion clinics during a special session on abortion called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

But senators ditched a proposal that would have banned abortion clinic staff from asking ambulances to drive without lights or sirens. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and others are using the demonstration to criticize the special session as a waste of money and unnecessary, and to highlight other issues they feel are more important for lawmakers to address.

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