Mary Elizabeth Coleman (r) [2019 file photo].
An amendment [pdf] to HB 2012 offered by Mary Elizabeth Coleman (r):
AMEND House Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 2012, Page 1, Section A, Line 3, by inserting after all of said section and line the following:
Further amend said bill, Page 3, Section 188.165, Line 10, by inserting after said section and line the following:
“188.805. 1. It is the policy of the state of Missouri to protect its unborn citizens from individuals and organizations that aid or abet the killing of unborn children, and to protect the unborn from those who seek to kill or otherwise harm them, to the maximum extent permissible under the Constitution and federal law.
2. Except as provided by subsection 3 of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to perform or induce, or to attempt to perform or induce, an abortion on a resident or citizen of Missouri, or to aid or abet, or attempt to aid or abet, an abortion performed or induced on a resident or citizen of Missouri, regardless of where the abortion is or will be performed. The prohibition in this subsection includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Offering or knowingly providing transportation to or from an abortion provider;
(2) Giving instructions over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication regarding self-administered abortion or means of obtaining elective abortions;
(3) Hosting or maintaining a website, or providing internet service that allows Missouri residents to access any website, that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain elective abortions;
(4) Offering or providing money with the knowledge that it will be used to pay for, offset, or reimburse the costs of an abortion or the costs associated with procuring an abortion;
(5) Providing or arranging for insurance coverage of an abortion;
(6) Offering or providing “abortion doula” services;
(7) Providing referrals to an abortion provider;
(8) Coercing or pressuring a pregnant woman to have an abortion; and
(9) Engaging in any conduct that would make one an accomplice to abortion under sections 562.036 and 562.041.
Page 3 of 9
4. Notwithstanding any other law, the requirements of this section shall be enforced exclusively through the private civil actions described in section 188.820. No direct or indirect enforcement of this section may be taken or threatened by the state, a political subdivision, a district or county attorney, or any officer or employee of this state or a political subdivision against any person or entity, by any means whatsoever, and no violation of this section may be used to justify or trigger the enforcement of any other law or any type of adverse consequence under any other law, except as provided in section 188.820.
188.820. 1. Any person, other than the state, its political subdivisions, or any officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state, may bring a civil action against any person or entity that:
(1) Violates any provision of sections 188.805 and 188.810; or
(2) Intends to violate any provision of sections 188.805 and 188.810.
2. If a claimant prevails in an action brought under this section, the court shall award:
(1) Injunctive relief sufficient to prevent the defendant from violating sections 188.805 and 188.810;
(2) Nominal and compensatory damages if the plaintiff has suffered injury or harm from the defendant’s conduct, including, but not limited to, loss of consortium and emotional distress;
(3) Statutory damages in an amount of not less than ten thousand dollars; and
(4) Costs and attorney’s fees.
Page 5 of 9
“…Any person, other than the state, its political subdivisions, or any officer or employee of a state or local governmental entity in this state, may bring a civil action against any person or entity…”
“…Statutory damages in an amount of not less than ten thousand dollars…”
4. Notwithstanding any other law, a person may bring an action under this section not later than six years after the date the cause of action accrues.
5. Notwithstanding any other law, the following are not defenses to an action brought under this section:
(1) Ignorance or mistake of law;
(2) A defendant’s belief that the requirements or provisions of this section are unconstitutional or were unconstitutional;
(3) A defendant’s reliance on any court decision that has been overruled on appeal or by a subsequent court, even if that court decision had not been overruled when the cause of action accrued;
(4) A defendant’s reliance on any state or federal court decision that is not binding on the court in which the action has been brought;
(5) Non-mutual issue preclusion or non-mutual claim preclusion;
(6) The consent of the unborn child’s mother to the abortion;
(7) Contributory or comparative negligence;
(8) Assumption of risk; or
(9) Any claim that the enforcement of this section or the imposition of civil liability against the defendant will violate the constitutional rights of third parties, except as provided by section 188.830.
“…A defendant’s belief that the requirements or provisions of this section are unconstitutional or were unconstitutional…”
“Were” unconstitutional. Anticipating something?
Representative Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a Republican, represents parts of Jefferson and St. Louis counties (District 97) in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was elected to her first two-year term in November of 2018.
Raised in Georgetown, Texas, Coleman received a BSBA in Management from Saint Louis University and her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law. She served on the Arnold City Council from 2013-2015.
In addition to serving in the legislature, her most important job is being a wife and mother. She and her husband, Christopher Coleman, have been married for seventeen years and have six children. Mary Elizabeth practices law at Thomas More Society, a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty.
That’s quite a tale.
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