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The Missouri legislature is moving forward on a plan that could close down abortion sites in Columbia and Kansas City.

The bill passed a Senate Committee late last night and caused quite a stir at the Capitol today.

Only doctors at surgical centers with strict building guidelines will be allowed to perform abortions. The Planned Parenthood sites in Kansas City and Columbia do not fit the criteria.

Supporters of the proposed law say they are concerned about safety. Planned Parenthood says that is not an issue.

“Abortion is one of the safest procedures you can find it is 100% safe,” says Michelle Trupiano, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist.

It would cost more than a half million dollars just to renovate the Columbia site to fit into the new plan.

The Columbia site would still provide some family planning services but with the abortion element removed, women’s rights advocates are concerned about the lengths some women will go to.

“They might look for other measures for a self-induced abortion or they are going to be forced to carry a child to term that they don’t want,” says Trupiano.

Senators in support of the tougher restrictions are confident the bill will pass the Senate. Sen. Delbert Scott, (R)- Lowry City, is sponsor of an identical senate bill.

“It will pass. There are 28 pro-life senators and 6 pro-choice. We will do whatever we need to to get it passed. We contacted the Governor’s office today and a spokesperson told me he will sign the bill if it passes the legislature.”

[ 5/1/2007,, Lapine]