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Bill Protects Medical Professionals from Being Forced to Perform Abortions

Sen. Scott Rupp's weekly column.

As a lawmaker and father, protecting the lives of unborn children is imperative—I have always vowed to defend the sanctity of life. We have an obligation to defend the rights of all Missourians, even those who have yet to make their entrance into the world. Throughout the 2012 legislative session, I am sponsoring two bills that will emphasize these values and shed light on the importance of women and children’s health.

One of my bills, SB 657, would ensure that no medical professional would be mandated to perform an abortion or other related procedures against his or her conscience. If a physician morally objects to performing an abortion, he or she would not be punished or suffer employment discrimination because of his or her decision.

My bill would also protect the conscience rights of medical researchers with regard to fetal tissue research, human cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

This legislation is of great importance due to actions by the National Institute of Health. Currently, the federal panel is seeking to force medical providers—both care personnel and facilities—to perform procedures even when it goes against their beliefs. No one should be forced to carry out an act against their will.

I am also sponsoring a measure that protects the health and well-being of mothers and their unborn children. Under my bill, SB 658, drugs (such as mifepristone) to facilitate the induction of an abortion, including drugs used during a subsequent visit to complete an abortion, would only be administered in a hospital or in an abortion facility in the physical presence of a physician.

Before the procedure is carried out, the mother would be presented with several alternatives to abortion, and she would be informed of the possible risks associated with having an abortion. If the mother decides to continue with having the abortion, the procedure would be handled safely.

I hope you will support these two bills as they continue their journey in the Legislature. If you have any questions or input regarding these measures, please don’t hesitate to call or visit my Capitol office.

Thank you and God Bless.

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