Gary Grigsby, the Democratic Party candidate in the 51st Legislative District issued the following release on yesterday’s veto override vote of HB 1307 – the bill adding a seventy-two hour waiting period for an abortion:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2014
REPRESENTATIVE DEAN DOHRMAN SUPPORTED EXTREME ABORTION BILL TO TRIPLE MANDATORY DELAY
JEFFERSON CITY- On Wednesday, the Missouri Legislature convened during its constitutionally scheduled veto session to take up a number of bills that were vetoed by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. In a vote of 117-44, the legislature overrode the Governor’s veto and added a 72 hour mandatory delay on all women seeking abortions in the state, including those who are victims of rape and incest.
Of the 144 votes, Representative Dean Dohrman supported the measure to add the needless waiting period, which is one of the most extreme in the country. “This extreme bill adds another layer of government intrusion and stress to an already traumatic time,” said his opponent Gary Grigsby.
“It’s time that our legislature focused on the important task of creating jobs and making our schools better instead of taking away decisions that should be left to a woman, her family, and her doctor.” Grigsby continued, “This bill further traumatizes victims by prolonging their grief. The legislation is insensitive, wrong-headed, and has no place in Missouri.”
“This is just another example where the Missouri Legislature has added one more layer of invasive government regulations to women’s health. The sole purpose of tripling the waiting period is nothing more than a way to score political points at the expense of victims. These decisions should be made in a doctor’s office and not in Jefferson City,” said Grigsby. “There is no discernible impact on the number of abortions but the consequences for women are real.”
House Bill 1307 (Sponsored by Kevin Elmer R-Nixa) expands the current 24 hour waiting period on abortions to 72 hours and does not make exceptions for victims of rape and incest. This legislation is representative of the extreme nature in which the Republican Super-Majority has moved in our state.
Gary Grigsby is running against Representative Dohrman for the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives which includes the parts of Saline, Pettis, and Johnson Counties.
Call yourself what you want, obscure and manipulate language, it still doesn’t change the reality of what you are.
Senator David Pearce (r) [file photo].
On the morning of Thursday, August 28th there was a meeting in Warrensburg with Senator David Pearce (r), requested by some constituents, on the subject of HB 1307 and the upcoming override vote concerning the Governor’s veto of the imposition of seventy-two hour waiting period for an abortion. An individual in attendance provided us with audio from that meeting:
Constituent: …Thank you Senator [David] Pearce [r] for joining us here today. We really appreciate it. We know you have a lot of things on your schedule. Uh, what we wanted to talk to you about is the House Bill 1307, increasing the wait time between counseling and an abortion from twenty-four to seventy-two hours…
[approximately twenty minutes later]
Male constituent: …I have three daughters….I know in the debate, uh, and I, I heard on the news, uh, one of the rep[resentative]s said, was asked, what the appropriate waiting period would be…and he said, nine months. How absurd. And, and, I, I cannot believe that…
Another male constituent: …I’ve been a Republican since voting for Nixon, Richard not Jay, so I, you know I’ve supported you. I’ve been proud to do it. I’ve thought you’ve always shared my values in amongst political things and, uh, I, I’ve painted a little broader stroke of this, boxed all my speech, kind of took some lines I was gonna use. But, the Republican Party has, over the years, I went back and the Reagan, Reagan years and all of those great years. I thought they really represented what I stood for. Leave people alone, let ’em live their lives, lets them do what they want to do. Okay, that’s always been the Republican way. And it seems like they’re drifting away from that, both federal and state level. Right now at the state level is a great concern and this issue of, of womens’ rights, it concerns me. I don’t like abortion. I think it’s personally disgusting. The next time I get pregnant I probably won’t have one. However, however, I really, really believe it’s that woman’s right to choose, nobody else’s. I don’t want you, or the Republicans, Democrats, Jews, I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do with my body. It isn’t right. It isn’t, it isn’t the way in America. I don’t think it is. And I support the veto in this matter, I really do…
Another constituent: …Can we count on you to vote to sustain the veto of House Bill 1307?
Senator David Pearce (r): Let me, uh, give some comments first. Um, this is a tough issue. I mean, uh, it is very emotional. It’s, uh, in many cases not a black and white issue and, and all of us have, uh, uh, strong feelings. It’s one of those core values, you know, that, that fundamentally you feel a certain way. And, um, those are things that, that, that don’t change. Uh, I’ve been a pro life candidate since the first time I ran in eighty-six and got defeated and, uh, when I ran in two thousand two, two thousand four, two thousand six, two thousand eight, and two thousand twelve. Um, very strong pro life candidate. Um, I’d just kind of like to talk about a few things I’ve heard and, and, and I appreciate and respect every one of you here, uh, for, for your thoughts. And I think it’s good we can get together and talk. Uh, although in the Senate it was a partisan issue. It was straight down party lines. Twenty-two to nine. In the House it wasn’t. So I don’t think that it’s something you can say it’s a Republican versus Democrat issue. Uh, there were probably at least twenty, uh, pro life Democrats that came to vote for the bill in the House. And so I think that, that would be, uh, somewhat, uh, misleading. Um, I sat right behind the bill sponsor, David Sater [r]. Uh, he handled the House bill and he was the Senate bill sponsor. And it was a protracted discussion we had on this bill. And, uh, David said that, and, and the reason I bring this up is that you had mentioned to my secretary that, that maybe next year there might be a compromise or maybe there would be a way to, to alter the bill. Um, at two particular times David went to the Democratic leadership in the Senate and offered to go down to thirty-six hours. That was rejected. Uh, went back and said, can we go forty-eight hours, that was rejected. And the reason why the Democrat [sic] leadership said they rejected those bills was, no, we want it seventy-two hours because that will be easier to prove the unconstitutionality of the bill. And so when this was happening there was a chance, there was a dialog, a chance for debate, a chance for compromise and it was flatly rejected. So I think you need to be aware of that. Um, also, uh, just on the political side, just so you’ll get a little bit of background information on this, two very, very controversial bills, this and right to work. And, and basically the Democratic Party, uh, said, we’ll sit down on the seventy-two hours if you won’t bring up right to work. So, um, this was used as somewhat political leverage on this issue. And so to say it’s a Republican versus Democrat there, there’s a whole lot more to the issue than that. Um, the one thing that, that I feel is lost in this whole discussion is the baby. You know, we talk about inconvenience, we talk about over population, we talk about poor versus wealthy. What about the baby? I don’t believe it’s a tissue, I don’t believe it’s a fetus, I believe it’s a baby. And when you take a life, you take a life. Uh, and so that’s my fundamental belief on that. I am not god, and when we’re talking about how many people should populate this Earth, that’s not our decision. Uh, and so I fundamentally think that somebody needs to stand up for that baby. Because he or she can’t make that decision. Somebody else is making it for them, somebody else is saying, you’re not gonna live. And so that’s why it’s such a huge fundamental core value decision for me and, and for others. And so, to me, I think, I think it’s a good thing when we’re having less abortions in our state. And we have. We’re down to, I believe, less than seven thousand in our state, I think it’s down to sixty-five hundred now. Um, we just have one abortion clinic in the state. I think that’s a good thing. Uh, if we were down to zero abortions I think that would be a positive thing. Uh, and so for those reasons, uh, I will vote to, to, uh, override the veto….
….I do believe in the case of rape or incest that, that abortion should be allowed. Uh, not all folks in the pro life community feel that way, but I do….
Still another constituent: Would you just address why seventy-two [hours] opposed to twenty-four [hours]? What is the purpose of that?
Senator David Pearce (r): Well, uh, both, uh, South Dakota and Utah have adopted that. Uh, so we would not be the first state, we’d be the third. I think these are important life and death decisions and so the longer [crosstalk] that a, that a person has to reflect that.
Still another constituent: Do you think women make it frivolously?
Senator David Pearce (r): What’s that?
Still another constituent: Do you think women make that decision frivolously? Because I don’t think they do. I think they go through a lot of torment before that twenty-four hour counseling. I’m sorry, just my personal experience with people I know….
Still another male constituent: And now you’re making it for them….
Still another constituent: You didn’t answer why the seventy-two was better than the twenty-four.
Still another male constituent: Yeah, you didn’t answer that.
Still another constituent: And then it’ll be a week and then it’ll be a month. I mean, what is the point of this?
Senator David Pearce (r): I, I fundamentally think these are life and death decisions. And the more that, that people can reflect and, and ponder on this I think it’s, it’s better. Uh, if it will decrease the number of abortions, uh, I think that’s probably a good thing. Uh, I just think it’s fundamentally something we’re gonna disagree on.
Still another male constituent: So, expand it to nine months.
“…So, expand it to nine months…”
That’s the goal.
Uh, if no republican voted against the bill and a small number of Democrats joined in to support it, it’s still a partisan issue. You know, there used to be pro choice republicans in the Missouri General Assembly. They were purged.
Uh, offering a “compromise” of thirty-six hours rather than seventy-two hours when you have a twenty-two to nine advantage to begin with is no compromise. Further that says a lot about the “core value” of those remaining “compromise” hours. One hour, nine months, it makes no difference, does it?
“…went to the Democratic leadership in the Senate and offered to go down to thirty-six hours. That was rejected. Uh, went back and said, can we go forty-eight hours, that was rejected. …”
Think about that for a second. The republican majority offered a “compromise” which was rejected, and then subsequently they offered a worse “compromise”. Accepting the second “compromise” would be gross malfeasance on the part of the Democrats in the Senate. The republicans expected acceptance on the second offer? Idiots.
Interestingly, Senator Pearce’s (r) interpretation of republican dogma on the imposition of seventy-two hour waiting period appears to be that the opposition was too clever by half in allowing the overwhelming republican majority to impose the full seventy-two hour period. Idiot.
“…And when you take a life, you take a life…”
“…I am not god, and when we’re talking about how many people should populate this Earth, that’s not our decision. Uh, and so I fundamentally think that somebody needs to stand up for that baby…”
If you’re for the death penalty and against Medicaid expansion in the State of Missouri (that intransigence on the part of the right wingnut controlled General Assembly is costing lives) and you’re against abortion you aren’t “pro life”. You’re against women controlling their own bodies. Period. If you’re a republican office holder in Missouri and you’re against the death penalty, you know that Medicaid expansion is the right thing to do, and you haven’t done anything about it then you’re nothing but a coward. Period.
“….I do believe in the case of rape or incest that, that abortion should be allowed. Uh, not all folks in the pro life community feel that way, but I do….”
That’s okay. Since they don’t appear too interested in promoting accessible health care for all and ending the death penalty it’ll fit nicely under their label.
Why seventy-two hours? Interestingly, we didn’t hear a rational explanation on that.
Senator David Pearce (r) is supposedly what passes for a “moderate” in the modern republican party. We haven’t seen any daylight between him and his party. He’s no “moderate”. In reality all he is for the republican majority and republican dogma in the Missouri General Assembly is a useful idiot.
….Moreover, the revenue triggers in the legislation only apply until the tax cuts are fully phased-in. After that time, under the legislature’s own estimates, there would be at least $620 million less in general revenue available each and every year, regardless of whether revenue collections are going up or down. In addition, the legislation’s annual cost would continue to grow above the legislature’s $620 million annual estimate because the income bracket adjustments in the bill for increases in the consumer price index would continue indefinitely. See Section 143.011.3. This provision alone would result in an additional $128 million in annual revenue reductions ten years after the legislation is fully phased-in, increasing each year in perpetuity….
A bill cannot be bipartisan when it needs a majority of only one party to pass it.
….English was a special guest at a private reception for Republican lawmakers on Tuesday night. He told members that he wanted to vote in favor of the bill when it was first brought up in the House, but that he was urged by Republican leadership to hold off until the override vote in an attempt to avoid pressure from Democrats, including the governor.
When you find yourself in a deep hole the first rule is to stop digging.
While the House was in session today, working to complete the process on budget bills by the deadline on Friday, we spoke with three representatives about the veto override vote of SB 509. Representative Keith English was the only Democrat in the General Assembly to vote to override Governor Nixon’s (D) veto:
Representative Keith English (D)(center) – May 6, 2014.
Show Me Progress: So, it’s been an, uh, something of an interesting week for you, hasn’t it?
Representative Keith English (D): Uh, it’s been a very interesting week. You know, um, I worked very hard with both sides of the aisle this week to make sure that, uh, we try to do what we can to make the state move forward, be more competitive with other states, stopping right to work and paycheck deception, stripping teachers of their pensions and the tenure. Um, I had to look really deep into, uh, legislation that we can be more competitive. And I think this bill is definitely gonna do that.
Show Me Progress: You’re, you’re referring to Senate Bill 509.
Representative English (D): Senate Bill 509, that’s correct. Senate Bill 509, uh, will take a two year period, the next two years, we’ll look at, uh, how much money we generate. Then on the third year, through the next five years after that, if, and that’s the big word, if, we can get small businesses, which are the backbone of this, this state, uh, to help generate seven hundred and fifty million dollars to the good, uh, we will, uh, give a little bit back to those businesses to reinvest in their companies to expand more.
And with the rising cost of health insurance, uh, under Obamacare, uh, and insurance companies, uh, dropping companies for uh, for different reasons, uh, and the possibility of the federal government increasing minimum wage to a possible ten dollars and ten cents an hour I feel strongly that we have to do something to tell the small businesses in Missouri, don’t move away, we’ll try to help you. Um, in my district we have businesses that are struggling so bad, uh, and with business of course, and if we can give them some incentive to hire more people, ’cause a lot of them have cut back, cut back to three and four employees when they had five and six. And being a small business owner, um, I know exactly what that feels like.
Show Me Progress: But, uh, didn’t, you know, in some ways, uh, uh, the, the concept of sort of an economic stimulus, per se, with this kind of, uh, cutting back of, of revenue in the sense of, of tax cut, per se [crosstalk] it’s, it’s, the bill made it structural though, and something that can’t be rolled back.
Representative English (D): Well, in the bill [crosstalk]…Well, there’s a failsafe in there, in case, if we don’t hit that hundred fifty million the bill dies. The bill will not move further. It has to, for the five years, has to increase a hundred and fifty million. The failsafe in this bill is, is that it will not cut funds to education. We have to increase seven hundred fifty million, if we don’t the bill’s moot. There’s a lot of people out there that are saying that there’s a possibility that this bill will not move forward, but we have to do something. We do have the lowest taxes of any state neighboring us, we do have the best cities, the best home structures, we have the greatest people and tools and resources. I don’t know what else to do to bring big business here. We’ve had Chrysler move out. Ford closed up and moved out. We’ve had so many businesses that have moved out of state. And if that’s the, the, the issue there, as we have lowest taxes, Florissant, that I represent, is one of the best places to retire. I want to make sure that this continues for a long time. And the only way I could see to do that in the legislation that we have, and the ideas that we have bipartisan sitting at the table, and I believe this was a bipartisan bill. Unfortunately the Governor vetoed it, it made it a partisan issue. I had four, maybe five other Democrats that wanted to be with this bill but just couldn’t go against the Governor. And I had to do something.
Representative Stephen Webber (D) [file photo].
Show Me Progress: So, how would you, how would you characterize the, uh, the vote on, um, the final vote on, uh, the override on SB 509?
Representative Stephen Webber (D): I mean, it’s certainly shortsighted, uh, to begin with. You know, if, if it’s a good idea it’s something that we should do now. The fact that people pushed off, um, the tax cuts so that they’ll never have to deal with the consequences of their actions, they’ll never actually have to budget, they’ll never actually have face the reality of not funding schools. Um, to me, that, that’s very irresponsible.
Show Me Progress: Would you characterize the bill as bipartisan?
Representative Webber (D): No, absolutely not. No. No, it’s clearly not. I mean, um, getting you know, less than two percent [one person] of the Democrats doesn’t make it a, a bipartisan bill.
Uh, I’ve described it as, it’s like, it’s like boiling a frog. You know, you put frog, a frog in the water and you turn up the heat. And so it feels good at first, and then it starts slowly, by the time you realize you’re burning, you’re boiling it’s, it’s too late. Uh, that’s the way this bill works. I mean it, it doesn’t, uh, fully implement for seven years at the earliest. And so every single member of this General Assembly will be termed out, um, before they have to face the true impact of cutting school funding, of not funding higher education. And at that point, all people are gonna know is there not money, there’s not money for these projects. They’re not gonna know who’s fault it is, they’re not gonna know who to blame, they’re not gonna , they’re not gonna say, oh, let’s go back to, in twenty twenty-two they’re not gonna say let’s go back to twenty fourteen and look at who voted for this bill. I mean, that’s not gonna happen. [crosstalk] Um.
Show Me Progress: Uh, so for, um, and, and, to be clear, the, the, the only way that the, the, the, the bill is reversible is if it comes to a vote of [crosstalk] of…
Representative Webber (D): We have to change the law again, right.
Show Me Progress: Well, you have to change the, and the change will have to go to a vote of the people due to the Hancock amendment.
Representative Webber (D): Correct. Correct.
Show Me Progress: And, and so, there is no sunset clause on any of this.
Representative Webber (D): No. Uh, and, and, they keep saying there’s these triggers and, and the folks that know that, uh, they know that’s incredibly misleading. They know that every year, um, that, the hundred fifty million dollars a year that you have to hit is eaten up very quickly in, in, you know, mandatory, uh, spending for federal match programs, um, I mean, inflation, population growth. It, it clearly will result in a, uh, cut to education funding. And they either, um, most of them know that and they’re just misleading people. Um, those that don’t know that are just uninformed.[….] It clearly will result in education cuts.
Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D) – May 8, 2014.
Show Me Progress: So, I want to talk with you about the, uh, Senate Bill 509, the veto override.
Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D): Uh huh.
Show Me Progress: Um, would you characterize, what, what would you characterize, the, the long term effect of the bill?
Representative LaFaver (D): Unknown. I think that there are a lot of things up in the air, particularly with the section that the Governor pointed out, that eliminates the top bracket. I think the long term effect, um, is truly unknown. It’s either gonna be bad or it’ll be devastating.
Show Me Progress: Would, would you characterize, uh, any part of the bill as bipartisan?
Representative LaFaver (D): No.
Show Me Progress: [….] Do you, is there, is, is there any easy way to fix any of the problems in the bill?
Representative LaFaver (D): No.
Show Me Progress: [….] Is there any kind of sunset provision in the bill?
Representative LaFaver (D): No.
Show Me Progress: None whatsoever?
Representative LaFaver (D): No. In order for us to fix it, uh, through the legislature anyway, we would have to pass something and then it would have to go to the voters as a tax increase. And so, if we’re gonna try and fix the, uh, section that the Governor is talking about we would have to then go back and approve a tax increase of four point eight billion dollars and ask Missourians to increase their taxes by four point eight billion.
There are people in Missouri and out who are laughing last.
The final vote to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of SB 509. Representative Jeremy LaFaver (D) (left) – bearing witness,
Representative Keith English (center) – casting the 109th vote necessary for the override,
and Representative Ron Hicks (r) (right) – his escort on and off the House floor.
Here’s the thing. Solidarity means you don’t sell out everyone else for something you want.
Is this an assertion that just one person in the entire State of Missouri stood between us and the enactment of right wingnut anti-organized labor legislation? Just asking.
And finally, dude, we’re an out of the way blog with dozens of readers. You just made the world safe for organized labor, truth, justice and the American Way, at least for the next two years – what are you doing messaging us? Don’t you have friends you can celebrate with?
That is, if the message really did come from Representative English. We have no idea.