JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Missouri abortion clinics will face new hurdles after a law took effect Wednesday without Gov. Jeremiah Nixon’s signature. The bill requires doctors to describe the fetus to the woman, ask if she wants to see it on an ultrasound and listen to its heartbeat if it has a heart, and give her a state-produced brochure that states: “The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”
The bill also requires doctors to consult with the woman ahead of time in person, rather than on the telephone.
Nixon, a Democrat, cited a Missouri constitutional provision that allowed bills to become laws without the governor’s signature.
Missouri joins 19 states that require doctors to give women an ultrasound and/or information about the fetus before an abortion is performed, according to Americans United for Life.
A Planned Parenthood official told The Associated Press that legal challenges to other states that passed laws offering ultrasounds had been generally unsuccessful and that its Missouri clinics plan to comply with the law when it takes effect on Aug. 28.