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Schatz anticipates passing abortion bill this year

Before this year’s legislative session is over, the General Assembly will send a bill curtailing abortion to the governor, Sen. Dave Schatz, the president pro tem, predicted.

Although he forecasts the legislature pushing an abortion bill in the coming weeks, Schatz said he hoped it wouldn’t take drastic measures to get it through to Gov. Mike Parson, noting Republicans have had conversations with those on the other side of the aisle in preparation already.

“You’re going to see an abortion bill come through the General Assembly [and] end up on the governor’s desk at the end of the day,” Schatz said during an appearance on This Week in Missouri Politics Sunday.

“I would like to get there in a manner that doesn’t require us to ultimately take extreme measures,” the Republican senator continued.

The Missouri House passed a massive bill (HB 126) restricting access to abortion earlier this year. Sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, the sweeping bill would outlaw abortions in Missouri once a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, should the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision — the 1973 judgment declaring the constitutional right to privacy ensured a woman has the right to make her own medical decisions, including when it comes to abortion — be overturned, the bill would then ban abortions outright except in the case of a medical emergency.

“As other states in our nation, like New York and Virginia, venture further and further away from the American ideal to uphold the right to life, I’m honored to lead a state with so many people committed to standing up for those without a voice,” Parson said in a statement then.

Schatz is coming off a successful week after he drove forward a compromise on his massive transportation bonding bill, another legislative priority for Parson. The plan creates more than $300 million in bonds to repair or replace more than 200 bridges in Missouri, with an additional $50 million allocated from the general revenue to “jump start” the projects. As part of the compromise, the bonding is contingent upon Missouri securing a highly competitive federal grant.  

The Missouri One Start program, a proposal merging the state’s workforce training incentives, also got the green light from the Senate last week. Like the infrastructure plan, this program is also a priority for the governor.

Schatz said he counted the Senate’s ability to move forward for the governor on some of his priorities as a “big win.