Missouri bill targets ambulance calls to abortion clinics

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Republicans want to make it a crime for abortion clinic workers to ask ambulances to respond to calls at their facilities without sirens or emergency lights.

Gov. Eric Greitens and other supporters say the plan would protect women's health and prevent clinics from making such requests in order to avoid attention from anti-abortion activists who may be protesting nearby.

Abortion-rights advocates say such a law is unnecessary and the proposal is simply a veiled attempt to restrict access to abortion providers.

The proposed legislation would establish a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in prison or a $2,000 fine for clinic workers who make such requests that "interfere" with medical assistance.

Lawmakers are considering the proposal as part of a special legislative session on abortion issues.