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Title XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Chapter 188

Effective - 24 Oct 2017, see footnote bottom

  188.125.  Alternatives to abortion agency, intent to acknowledge certain right of — state preemption, when — actions to enforce, authorized relief — definitions. — 1.  It is the intent of the general assembly to acknowledge the right of an alternatives to abortion agency to operate freely and engage in speech without governmental interference as protected by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of Missouri, the right of a person not to be compelled by the government to participate in abortion contrary to his, her, or its religious beliefs or moral convictions, and that the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of Missouri shall be interpreted, construed, applied, and enforced to fully protect such rights.

  2.  A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure that prohibits, restricts, limits, controls, directs, interferes with, or otherwise adversely affects an alternatives to abortion agency or its officers', agents', employees', or volunteers' operations or speech including, but not limited to, counseling, referrals, or education of, advertising or information to, or other communications with, clients, patients, other persons, or the public.

  3.  Nothing in subsection 2 of this section shall preclude or preempt a political subdivision of this state from exercising its lawful authority to regulate zoning or land use or to enforce a building or fire code regulation; provided that, such political subdivision treats an alternatives to abortion agency in the same manner as a similarly situated agency and that such authority is not used to circumvent the intent of subsection 2 of this section.

  4.  A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure that has the purpose or effect of requiring a person to directly or indirectly participate in abortion if such participation is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such person.

  5.  A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure requiring a real estate broker, real estate salesperson, real estate broker-salesperson, appraisal firm, appraiser, as such terms are defined in chapter 339, a property owner, or any other person to buy, sell, exchange, purchase, rent, lease, advertise for, or otherwise conduct real estate transactions for, to, or with an abortion facility or for, to, or with a person for the purpose of performing or inducing an abortion not necessary to save the life of the mother, if such requirement is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such real estate broker, real estate salesperson, real estate broker-salesperson, appraisal firm, appraiser, property owner, or other person.

  6.  A political subdivision of this state is preempted from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure requiring an employer, employee, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, or any other person to provide coverage for or to participate in a health plan that includes benefits that are not otherwise required by state law.

  7.  In any action to enforce the provisions of this section, a court of competent jurisdiction may order injunctive or other equitable relief, recovery of damages or other legal remedies, or both, as well as payment of reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses.  The relief and remedies set forth shall not be deemed exclusive and shall be in addition to any other relief or remedies permitted by law.

  8.  In addition to a private cause of action by a person whose rights are violated contrary to the provisions of this section, the attorney general is also authorized to bring a cause of action to defend the rights guaranteed under this section.

  9.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a political subdivision from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing any order, ordinance, rule, regulation, policy, or other similar measure to assist pregnant women to carry their unborn children to term or to assist women in caring for their dependent children or placing their children for adoption including, but not limited to, by funding or otherwise assisting an alternatives to abortion agency to provide services to such women and children.

  10.  As used in this section, the following terms mean:

  (1)  "Alternatives to abortion agency":

  (a)  A maternity home as defined in section 135.600;

  (b)  A pregnancy resource center as defined in section 135.630; or

  (c)  An agency or entity that has the primary purpose of providing services or counseling to pregnant women to assist such women in carrying their unborn children to term instead of having abortions and to assist such women in caring for their dependent children or placing their children for adoption, as described in section 188.325, regardless of whether such agency or entity is receiving funding or reimbursement from the state for such purposes;

  (2)  "Participate in abortion":

  (a)  To undergo an abortion; or

  (b)  To perform or induce, assist in, refer or counsel for, advocate for, promote, procure, reimburse for, or provide health plan coverage for an abortion not necessary to save the life of the mother.

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(L. 2017 2d Ex. Sess. S.B. 5)

Effective 10-24-17


---- end of effective   24 Oct 2017 ----

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