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Constitutional Amendment to Virtually Ban Abortion Close to Full State House Debate

Missouri Capitol
Ryan Famuliner
The Capitol building in Jefferson City. GOP legislators are opposing the appointment of a Columbia attorney to the UM System Board of Curators.

A proposed state constitutional amendment that would virtually outlaw abortion in Missouri is one step closer to being debated by the full State House.  

The so-called personhood amendment would grant a constitutional right to life to unborn children, “at every stage of development.” It also states that the Missouri Constitution does not grant anyone the right to an abortion. 

It was first approved last week by a House committee, which removed exceptions for rape, incest, or whether the life of the mother is in danger.  A second committee passed it Monday, paving the way for floor debate before the full House. 

Its biggest obstacle is time, as the 2016 legislative session ends in 3-and-a-half weeks.  Opponents say the measure poses a threat to women’s health and reproductive rights.    

Missouri Public Radio State House Reporter Marshall Griffin is a proud alumnus of the University of Mississippi (a.k.a., Ole Miss), and has been in radio for over 20 years, starting out as a deejay. His big break in news came when the first President Bush ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989. Marshall was working the graveyard shift at a rock station, and began ripping news bulletins off the old AP teletype and reading updates between songs. From there on, his radio career turned toward news reporting and anchoring. In 1999, he became the capital bureau chief for Florida's Radio Networks, and in 2003 he became News Director at WFSU-FM/Florida Public Radio. During his time in Tallahassee he covered seven legislative sessions, Governor Jeb Bush's administration, four hurricanes, the Terri Schiavo saga, and the 2000 presidential recount. Before coming to Missouri, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Blue Ridge Mountains, reporting and anchoring for WWNC-AM in Asheville, North Carolina. Marshall lives in Jefferson City with his wife, Julie, their dogs, Max and Mason, and their cat, Honey.
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