JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Abortion and strip club regulations are among a host of new laws that have taken effect in Missouri. The abortion law requires clinics to tell women that life begins at conception, and tell them other things about the fetus. Gov. Jeremiah Nixon allowed the bill to become law without signing it.
“The life of each human being begins at conception,” according to Senate Bill 793, which added requirements to the state’s 24-hour informed consent law for abortions. “Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.”
Those words must be displayed “prominently” on brochures that clinics must hand out to every woman seeking the procedure. State Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that this “information” “is not a religious statement; it’s a scientific statement.”
Lap dances and total nudity have been banned at strip clubs and adult businesses, which now must close at midnight. The law also prohibits minors from entering such facilities, prohibits film-viewing booths from being behind closed doors, and prohibits the businesses within 1,000 feet of churches and schools.
The measure has withstood a legal challenge from business owners who claimed it violates free speech. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled against the group last week. The businessmen told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch they would comply with the new law, but would continue the legal battle.
Another new law involves ethics rules for state politicians. It is designed to limit money laundering in campaigns by making it illegal for most political action committees to donate to other political action committees. It makes it a crime to obstruct a Missouri Ethics Commission investigation and requires donations of more than $500 during the legislative session to be reported to the commission within 48 hours.