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Abortion Restriction Bill

By: ELISA CROUCH
State Capital Bureau

April 10, 1995

JEFFERSON CITY _ Sen. Joe Moseley's parliamentary maneuver to sink the Senate-passed anti-abortion bill was, itself, sunk by the Joint Committee on Legislative Research Monday.

The bill, approved by the Senate last week, would require abortion facilities to offer anti-abortion counseling to prospective patients. In order to receive an abortion, a woman would have to give the physician written verification that she had undergone or rejected counseling.

The joint committee considered an appeal filed by Moseley, D-Columbia against the official staff estimate on the bill's costs to state government _ termed the fiscal note.

Legislative staff had estimated the cost at less than $58,000. Moseley unsuccessfully argued to raise the official estimate to $107,000.

At issue was more than just money estimates.

Under legislative rules, a bill with a fiscal note in excess of $100,000 must be approved by the House Budget Committee before going to the full House for a final vote.

The chairman of the Budget Committee is chaired by Shiela Lumpe, D-St. Louis County and an abortion-rights supporter.

Lumpe was the only member on the joint committee to vote in support of Moseley's appeal.

Moseley based his argument on a March letter from the Health Department which states that the anti-abortion bill would cost the state $107,000 _ $50,000 more than what the fiscal note reported.

But some members of the committee argued his fiscal appeal simply was an attempt to stop the bill.

"I think this is an example of a department trying to legislate by fiscal note," said committee member Sen. Harry Wiggins, D-Kansas City, who voted to defeat Moseley's request.