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Bills in Jefferson City focus on reducing abortions

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – Both the State House and Senate heard bills Tuesday designed to reduce the number of abortions in Missouri.

If passed, the measures would require more state oversight of most abortion clinics, and would bar Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from teaching sex education classes in public schools. Abstinence-based sex ed classes would be allowed, instead.

Democratic Representative Beth Low of Kansas City says youths need access to all information to protect themselves.

"No one is disputing that abstinence is the only fail proof method for avoiding pregnancy or disease," Low said. "But, if there is a student who is already sexually active, don't we want to give them the tools to keep their body healthy and safe?"

But Republican Representative Robert Onder of Lake St. Louis compared Planned Parenthood's teaching of sex ed to a fox guarding the henhouse.

Both the House and Senate bills would also provide funding for the Missouri Alternatives to Abortion program, which emphasized adoption of unwanted babies.