Missouri Senate passes annual abortion clinic inspections

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri senators have passed legislation to require annual health inspections of abortion clinics and enact other new restrictions on the procedure.

Senators voted 20-8 in favor of the measure early Thursday. The measure now heads to the House.

Lawmakers are considering the policies during a special session centered on abortion that was called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who says he was partly motivated by a federal judge’s ruling striking down some state abortion regulations.

If passed by the House, the Senate bill would nullify a St. Louis ordinance banning discrimination in housing and employment based on “reproductive health decisions” such as abortion or pregnancies.

The legislation also would give the state’s attorney general new authority to prosecute violations of abortion laws, but only if local prosecutors don’t act first.

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