House Resolution No. 294




            Whereas, the 111th United States Congress is considering the Freedom of Choice Act, which purports to classify abortion as a "fundamental right", equal in stature to the right of free speech and the right to vote - rights that, unlike abortion, are specifically enumerated in the United States Constitution; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act would invalidate any "statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action" of any federal, state, or local government or governmental office, or any person acting under governmental authority that would "deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose" abortion, or that would "discriminate against the exercise of the the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information"; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act would nullify any federal or state law "enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on, or after the date of its enactment" and would effectively prevent the State of Missouri from enacting similar protective measures in the future; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act would invalidate more than 550 federal and state abortion-related laws, laws supported by the majority of the American people; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act would specifically invalidate the following commonsense protective laws properly enacted by the State of Missouri:


            (1) A parental consent law for minors seeking an abortion;


            (2) A prohibition on government funding or use of public facilities for abortions;


            (3) Health and safety regulation for abortion facilities;


            (4) A twenty-four-hour waiting period and informed consent law that provides an opportunity to consider the gravity of a decision to abort a child;


            (5) A partial birth abortion ban (Infant's Protection Act);


            (6) A requirement that only physicians can perform or induce abortions and that such physicians maintain medical malpractice insurance;


            (7) Conscience protections for doctors and hospitals not wanting to perform or induce abortions;


            (8) A prohibition on performing or inducing abortions in order to use fetal organs or tissue for transplantation or experimentation;


            (9) Licensing of most abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers to ensure basic health and safety of patients;


            (10) Alternatives to abortion programs to encourage and support women who do not want abortions; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act will not make abortion safe or rare, but will instead actively promote and subsidize abortion with federal and state tax dollars and will do nothing to ensure its safety; and


            Whereas, the federal Freedom of Choice Act will protect and promote the abortion industry, endanger women and their health, promote a political ideology of unregulated abortion-on-demand, and silence the voices of Americans who want to engage in a meaningful public discussion and debate over the availability, safety, and even desirability of abortion:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, hereby strongly oppose the federal Freedom of Choice Act and urge the United States Congress to summarily reject it; and


      Be it further resolved that the Missouri House of Representatives strongly opposes the federal Freedom of Choice Act because:


            (1) It seeks to circumvent the states' general legislative authority as guaranteed by the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution;


            (2) It seeks to undermine the right and responsibility of the states and the people to debate, vote on, and determine abortion policy; and


            (3) The protection of women's health through state regulation on abortion is a compelling state interest that should not be nullified by Congress;


            (4) Its enactment would nullify laws in the State of Missouri that the Missouri General Assembly and the people of Missouri strongly support; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for Barack Obama, President of the United States; the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the United States Senate; the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives; each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation; and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and the Secretary of the United States Senate with a request that the resolution be printed in the Congressional Record.