Missouri lawmakers on Friday passed House Bill 1055, limiting abortion access and weakening sex education programs in public schools. Governor Matt Blunt (R) told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is eager to sign the bill, which would require abortion clinics to be certified as outpatient surgery clinics. Certification, which will require upgrades in equipment and facilities, will likely be expensive. Reproductive health advocates objecting to the bill say that it will probably force the closure of two of the state’s three abortion clinics.
“This is a terrible day for the health and safety of Missouri women,” Peter Brownlie, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said. “Governor Blunt and his legislature are once again dramatically cutting access to health care for thousands of women. This legislation will not make an already safe procedure safer — but it will shut health centers down and make it harder to access abortion.”
Another provision in the bill will allow abstinence-only sex education in Missouri schools, despite recent findings that such programs are inadequate.