Legislation

SB 699 – Abolition of Abortion in Missouri Act

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Bill Summary

SB 699 – This act repeals provisions of law relating to the performance and regulation of abortions and establishes the “Abolition of Abortion in Missouri Act”. This act adds a definition of “person” to the criminal code to include a human being from the moment of conception. Additionally, this act grants the Attorney General and prosecuting and circuit attorneys the authority to enforce certain provisions of the criminal code relating to offenses against the person, including murder and manslaughter, as they relate to abortion, regardless of any contrary federal act, law, treaty, decision, order, rule, or regulation. Any court decision that has the effect of enjoining the state from these actions shall be treated as nonauthoritative, void, and of no force and no state government agency or official and no law enforcement agency or officer shall assist or cooperate in any way with the enforcement of such court orders. A woman upon whom an abortion was performed or induced or intended to be performed or induced shall not be held criminally responsible for the death or attempted death of her unborn child if the woman has been coerced or suffers from a mental disease or defect.

Currently, public school districts and charter schools must notify parents of the basic content of their human sexuality course materials. This act requires parents to be notified of course materials and instruction on sexually transmitted diseases and requires school districts to receive consent in writing from a parent or legal guardian before a student is provided any course material or instruction. Violation of this provision shall be a class C misdemeanor. Additionally, in any legal proceeding related to a violation of the act, no entity directly or indirectly receiving any taxpayer funds shall provide any legal advice, counsel, or representation to any person or entity alleged to have violated this provision.

This provision is identical to HB 2200 (2020).

Additionally, information communicated to an employee of an alternatives to abortion agency relating to and in connection with an individual who has presented themselves to the agency for the purpose of seeking an alternative to an abortion shall not be voluntarily disclosed, except with the permission of the individual or with other employees of the agency for purposes of providing services to the individual. Such employees shall also be considered incompetent to testify in a legal proceeding with respect to those privileged communications.

In current law, the affirmative defense of duress is not available for defendants accused of murder. This act makes that defense available in cases of murder by abortion. Additionally, this act modifies the affirmative defense of justification to make Class A felonies and murder offenses justifiable and not criminal when necessary as an emergency measure to avoid imminent public or private injury in a situation that developed through no fault of the actor and which is of such gravity that the desirability of avoiding the injury outweighs the penalty for the offense. This act also modifies the defense of reasonable belief that certain conduct does not constitute an offense by making unreasonable any reliance based upon an official statement permitting the unjustified homicide of an unborn child.

In any investigation or proceeding to enforce the provisions of this act, a court may order that a witness shall not be excused from giving testimony or producing evidence on the grounds that such testimony or evidence may incriminate the witness, but such witness shall not be prosecuted or subjected to penalties on account of such testimony or evidence.

This act has an emergency clause.

This act is substantially similar to SB 391 (2021) and similar to HB 2285 (2020).

The full text of this bill, updates and status can be found here.