Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1357 -- Alternatives-to-Abortion Agencies

Sponsor:  Gatschenberger

This bill specifies that the constitutions and laws of the United
States and Missouri must be interpreted, construed, applied, and
enforced to fully protect the rights of an alternative-to-
abortion agency and its officers, agents, employees and
volunteers to freely assemble and to freely engage in religious
practices and speech without governmental interference.

The bill defines "alternatives-to-abortion agency" as:

(1)  A maternity home as defined in Section 135.600, RSMo;

(2)  A pregnancy resource center as defined in Section 135.630;

(3)  An agency or entity that has the primary purpose of
providing services or counseling to pregnant women to assist them
in carrying their unborn children to term instead of having
abortions and to assist the women in caring for their dependent
children or placing their children for adoption.

A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting,
adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any measure that adversely
affects an alternatives-to-abortion agency or its officers,
agents, employees, or volunteers' assembly, religious practices,
or speech.  These provisions cannot preclude or preempt a
political subdivision from exercising its lawful authority to
regulate zoning or land use or to enforce a building or fire code
regulation if the alternatives-to-abortion agency is treated in
the same manner as a similarly situated agency and that the
authority is not used to circumvent the intent of these

A court may order injunctive relief, recovery of damages, or
both, as well as payment of reasonable attorney fees, costs, and
expenses to enforce these provisions.

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Last Updated January 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm