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Bills on “abortion alternative” entities. SB 41, pre-filed in the Senate on December 1st:

SB 41 – Under this act, the constitutions and laws of the United States and Missouri shall be interpreted, construed, applied, and enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees, and volunteers to freely assemble and freely engage in religious practices and speech without government interference.

Nothing in this act shall preclude or preempt a political subdivision from exercising its lawful authority to regulate zoning or land use or to enforce a building or fire code regulation, provided that the political subdivision treats an alternatives-to-abortion agency in the same manner as a similarly situated agency.

A court may order injunctive relief with specified damages for violations of this act. Additionally, the Attorney General may bring a cause of action to defend the rights guaranteed under this act.

This act is similar to provisions in HB 99 (2015), HB 919 (2015), HB 1103 (2014), SCS/HCS/HB 1192 (2014), SB 658 (2014), HB 31 (2013), HB 717 (2013), SB 50 (2013), HB 1357 (2012), and SB 745 (2012).
[….]

HB 174, pre-filed in the House on December 8th:

HB 174 [pdf] — ALTERNATIVES-TO-ABORTION AGENCIES
SPONSOR: Hubrecht
This bill requires the constitutions and laws of the United States and Missouri to be interpreted, construed, applied, and enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees, and volunteers to freely assemble and freely engage in religious practices and speech without government interference. Nothing in the bill must preclude or preempt a political subdivision from exercising its lawful authority to regulate zoning or land use or to enforce a building or fire code regulation, provided that the political subdivision treats an alternatives-to abortion agency in the same manner as a similarly situated agency. The bill permits a court to order injunctive relief with specified damages for violations of the provisions of the bill and permits the Attorney General to bring a cause of action to defend the rights guaranteed under the provisions of bill. This bill is the same as SB 41 (2017).

[emphasis added]

Facts? Who needs facts?

Deb Lavender (D) [2016 file photo].

Deb Lavender (D) [2016 file photo].

Facts. HB 236, pre-filed in the House on December 15th:

FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 236 [pdf]
99TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE LAVENDER.
0877H.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk

AN ACT

To amend chapter 188, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to reproductive health care services.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 188, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 188.345, to read as follows: 188.345.
1. For purposes of this section, the term “medically accurate and unbiased information” shall mean information that is:
(1) Verified or supported by the weight of medical research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods;
(2) Recognized as correct and objective by leading medical organizations with relevant expertise or government agencies, such as the:
(a) American Medical Association;
(b) American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;
(c) American Public Health Association;
(d) American Academy of Pediatrics;
(e) American College of Physicians;
(f) American Academy of Family Physicians;
(g) Center for Disease Control and Prevention;
(h) Food and Drug Administration;
(i) National Cancer Institute;
(j) American Psychological Association; or
(k) National Institute for Health; or
(3) Recommended by or affirmed in the medical practice guidelines of a nationally recognized accrediting organization, such as the:
(a) Joint Commission;
(b) National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA);
(c) American Accreditation HealthCare Commission or Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (AAHC/URAC); or
(d) Accreditation Association for Ambulatory HealthCare (AAAHC).
2. For purposes of this section, the term “pregnancy-related services” shall mean services including, but not limited to, family planning, abortion care, prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.
3. To be eligible to receive state funding, all organizations that provide pregnancy related services or counseling shall provide medically accurate and unbiased information on all relevant reproductive health options including, but not limited to, information about birth control, pregnancy, adoption, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.

[emphasis in original]

Gee, we should expect that pregnancy related organizations that provide pregnancy related services should provide medically accurate and unbiased information all the time, right?

SB 41 [pdf] and HB 174 serve another agenda:

[….]
188.125. 1. It is the intent of the general assembly to acknowledge the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees, and volunteers to freely assemble and to freely engage in religious practices and speech without governmental interference, and that the constitutions and laws of the United States and the state of Missouri shall be interpreted, construed, applied, and enforced to fully protect such rights.
2. A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure that prohibits, restricts, limits, controls, directs, inteferes with, or otherwise adversely affects an alternatives-to-abortion agency or its officers, agents, employees, or volunteers’ assembly, religious practices, or speech, including but not limited to counseling, referrals, or education of, advertising or information to, other communications with, clients, patients, other persons, or the public.
[….]

Gee, nothing in SB 41 and HB 174 about providing medically accurate and unbiased information. Go figure.