Missouri House passes ramped-up abortion rules

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s Republican-led House has passed legislation to toughen state abortion regulations.

Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 110-38 in favor of the bill, which would require annual inspections of clinics and give the attorney general the power to prosecute violations of abortion laws.

Because of changes made by the House, the measure now heads back to the Senate. That chamber passed a watered-down version Thursday after hours of bipartisan negotiations behind closed doors.

Lawmakers are weighing the proposals during a special session called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. The session is focused on abortion policy.

Another provision in the legislation would undo a St. Louis ordinance that bans discrimination in housing and employment based on “reproductive health decisions,” such as abortion.

Missouri’s Republican-led House has defeated a proposed abortion ban with exceptions for medical emergencies or those needed to save the lives of pregnant women.

Lawmakers voted 43-98 against the provision Tuesday during a special session on abortion.

Anti-abortion Republican Rep. Mike Moon’s proposal also said that “due process of law shall be required” before abortions. It would require doctors performing abortions in cases of medical emergencies to “make every effort” to perform a delivery and then give medical care to the child.

The measure met bipartisan opposition.

Deocratic House members criticized the proposal to ban abortions even in cases of rape or incest. Republican lawmakers said adding the provision to another bill on abortion regulations would threaten the chances of that measure passing, and could make the proposal unconstitutional.

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