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Missouri Governor Allows Informed Consent/Opt-out Bill to Become Law

Good news from Missouri today – Governor Jay Nixon will allow SB 793 to become law without his signature.  This bill enhances the state’s informed consent provisions and makes the state the fifth to opt out of the abortion mandate in the federal health care reform law.

The new informed consent provisions will help women seeking an abortion to be fully informed before they make a final decision.  The bill requires that women:

  • Be advised of the risks of abortion;
  • Given information about the physiological characteristics of their unborn child;
  • Be presented with what resources are available to women who choose to bring their child to term.

The information can only be given to a woman by a physician or qualified professional.  The bill also gives women:

  • The opportunity to view an ultrasound;
  • The chance to learn about the pain an unborn child may feel during a later term abortion;
  • Access to a telephone if she is at the abortion facility under duress from a third party.

Additionally, Missouri joins Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and  Tennessee who have now acted to opt-out of the federal health care law’s abortion provision.