superfan1 (superfan1) wrote in ontd_political,

Legislators propose stricter rules for abortion seekers in MO

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Pro-life Missouri lawmakers are following the lead of neighboring Oklahoma, proposing stricter rules for women wanting an abortion. The bill passed the Senate and is ready for debate in the full House.

The reason that critics call it so tough is it would require several new things, including requiring every woman who wants an abortion to have the opportunity to first see an ultrasound, and hear the heartbeat of the child. Also, the woman would have to be provided information in person regarding the possibility of the abortion causing pain to the unborn baby, and more information on the fetal development of the child. Right now, pro-choice advocates say, those things are often done but it's over the phone.

Cheryl Barratt has a passion for babies, the born and unborn but she hasn't always been this way.

"Here I am, 17 years old, I have my whole life ahead of me. What am I going to do? I cannot do this. I was very emotional," Barratt said.

In an instant, Barratt said she aborted her baby. She later regretted it, and is still struggling with it some 30 years later.

"It's the biggest regret of my life," she said.

Barratt now works with women every day who are weighing their options. She's the nurse director of the Pregnancy Care Center.

"We show them the fetal heart rate, and they're able to visualize that on the screen," said Barratt.

Under the proposed bill, that option would be a requirement. The mom would also get educational pamphlets explaining the risks -- in person instead of over the phone.

Planned Parenthood, a pro-choice group, says the rules would be too stringent.

"These new burdensome requirements are unnecessary because women who seek abortions now go through an exhaustive informed consent process," Planned Parenthood of Missouri chief executive officer Paula Gianino said in a telephone interview.

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood says the written information that would be given out is pure right wing rhetoric.

"For instance, that the abortion 'is killing the life of a separate unique living human being.' These are just attempts by anti-abortion and anti-choice groups to try and shame women and make this process all the more difficult for women," said Gianino.

Barratt, on the other hand, says she lives her decision every day, and believes the more information a woman gets, the better.

"You think, once you terminate the pregnancy, it's the end, and that is so far from the truth," she said.

"These are difficult decisions and women don't make them lightly, and women know that this is a decision that becomes part of their lives forever," said Gianino.

The bill also would prohibit private insurance from covering abortion care. Planned Parenthood fears that would only push women further into pregnancy before they can get the money together to get an abortion.

It really does now seem like to me, the states are trying to outdo each other to make women life worse.


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