JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House on Wednesday approved a bill that sets stricter requirements for tracking fetal remains from abortion procedures and requires both parents to be notified if a minor receives an abortion.
The measure would prohibit individuals or physicians from donating fetal tissue for scientific research, and it set specific requirements on how the tissue will be tracked and examined by a pathologist.
Representatives added several provisions to the original bill over the course of a nearly three-hour debate. It still needs one more vote in the House before it advances to the Senate.
The most divisive amendment would require a parent consenting to a minor’s abortion to notify the second parent or legal guardian of the minor’s plans to terminate a pregnancy.
Democrats said the amendment could allow abusive parents to be notified of an abortion, which could potentially put young women in danger.
“We’re willing to discard our minors who have been in these horrible situations because they’re carrying a fetus,” Democratic Rep. Stacey Newman said.
Supporters of the amendment said it could help start conversations in families and would ensure that parents wouldn’t be left out of the process, especially in divorce cases.
“I think we’ve got to do things that ensure that all parties have a vested interest in this life-ending, life-changing decision,” GOP Rep. Rick Brattin said.
The proposal includes several exceptions when the second parent wouldn’t have to be notified in order to protect the minor. For example, the consenting parent wouldn’t have to notify the other if the guardian had been convicted of violent offenses such as sexual abuse.
Another addition mandates annual inspections of abortion providers. Republicans said the inspections would ensure that women were safe in the clinics.
But Democrats slammed the proposal as an attempt to put more restrictions on the only abortion provider in the state – a Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
Missouri Planned Parenthood affiliates filed a federal lawsuit in November challenging some state rules that require abortion clinics to meet standards for surgical centers and their doctors to have privileges in nearby hospitals.