Jefferson City, Mo. (CBS ST. LOUIS) — A Missouri lawmaker filed a bill on Monday that would make it law to notify both parents of a minor before their child could receive an abortion.
Rep. Rocky Miller of District 124 said that the bill touches on part of his personal pro-life beliefs, but is meant to aid divorced parents in the same situation that affected his family eight years ago.
Miller explained to Lake Expo that his own daughter became pregnant as a minor eight years before. Although divorced, he had joint custody of his daughter and discussed the difficult decision with her at the time, saying “Go search it on the Internet,” when she admitted not understanding the full scope of the procedure.
“When she came back downstairs, her face was gray,” he said.
Ultimately, Miller and his wife offered to raise the child themselves and allow their daughter to live a more normal life as a teenager. He expressed that things could have gone quite differently for the now-grandchild if agreements had failed under the current abortion laws.
Under current Missouri state law, minors with separated parents – or parents simply not communicating well – can receive a major medical procedure, including abortions, with the knowledge and consent of just one parent.
Miller stated that the bill is not a measure meant to draw on the controversy that often surrounds pro-life, pro-choice arguments regarding abortion and contraception. He acknowledged that the hot-button topic is often difficult to touch with government legislation, but that his personal parenting experience has shown that something needs to be done by legislators on both sides of the issue.
“[This bill] does not restrict anything,” he told Lake Expo. “It just makes sure the right people are informed of the welfare of their children.”
Another bill on the 2014 Missouri legislation schedule is House Bill 1148, which would require a woman seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound and review it within the 24-hour mandatory waiting period for an abortion. Legislation in the state also currently specifies that life begins at fertilization, bans gender-based abortion decisions and bars Planned Parenthood sex education classes in Missouri schools.
Miller said that although he is proposing this abortion legislation, it is often not the role of government to interfere with similar medical procedures.
“I don’t believe the government should legislate some medical procedures and research, including non-fetal stem cell research.”