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Sponsor of Personhood Amendment Wants to Display Abortion Tools Next to Slavery Exhibit

Joanne Schrader holds signs as she gathers with other abortion opponents in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol on Sept. 10, 2014, in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

It’s become an annual quest for Missouri Rep. Mike Moon. The Republican has again introduced legislation to put a personhood constitutional amendment on the 2018 state ballot.

If the legislature approves Moon’s proposal this time, Missouri voters would be faced with this question on next year’s ballot: “Should the Missouri Constitution be amended to protect pregnant women and unborn children by recognizing that an unborn child is a person with a right to life which cannot be deprived by state or private action without due process and equal protection of law?”

Moon sees his proposal as correcting the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

Ike Skelton, executive director of Missourians for the Unborn, told the Kansas City Star his group supports that line of thinking.

“Since Roe v. Wade, this country has sort of had a culture of death when it comes to babies,” Skelton said. “We need to have a culture of life in the state of Missouri and in this country.”

But M’Evie Mead, director of policy and organizing for Planned Parenthood Services Missouri, told the Kansas City Star Moon’s proposal puts government between “a woman, her family and her doctor.”

“It’s a serious government intrusion into the most personal pieces of one’s life,” Mead said.

That is the same proposal the Missouri House approved last year. But the Senate never took a vote on it.

But this year, Moon has gone a little bit further than just asking for approval of a state constitutional amendment. He also has introduced legislation that calls for a museum display on the history of abortion.

The display would include “tools used and the effects those same tools have on the aborted victims” according to a statement issued by Moon. He said most of the tools at the exhibit would be on loan from the Grantham Collection.

The Grantham Collection website claims to show “the largest abortion instrument collection in the world. From modern instruments to the 16th century. The most gruesome medical instruments ever made were designed for abortion.”

HB 1014, known as the “Never Again Act,” would also require the abortion history exhibit to be placed in the Missouri State Museum next to the existing display on the history of slavery.

“The number of lives lost by abortion is more than we lost during slavery and during the Holocaust,” said Moon. “We need to start looking at abortion in the same light as we do both of those tragic events.”

Democrat Rep. Stacey Newman, a reform Jew, told MissouriNet she was repulsed by Moon’s attempt to equate abortion with slavery and the Holocaust.

“I have Holocaust survivors in my family. To do that, I just feel is just inflammatory. It is disgusting beyond belief,” Newman said.

Moon said there is definitely a connection between what Hitler did to the Jews and what Americans are permitting doctors to do to unborn babies.

“If you’d go back to Germany, the German people probably would have thought, or at least Third Reich would have thought, that gas chambers were a legal procedure,” Moon said. “That doesn’t make it right.”

Moon also told MissouriNet that there is definitely a connection between slavery and abortion because of the way slaves were defined as being less than fully human.

“The constitution stated that they would only be three-fifths of a person,” said Moon. “Many people say an unborn developing human baby is not a person until he or she takes her first breath. So there is a comparison there that we’re actually stating that they’re not humans.”

Moon’s “Personhood Bill” has passed a House committee. Last year, a similar measure was approved by the full House but never came up for a vote in the Senate.

Alison Dreith, executive director of NARL Pro-Choice Missouri, told Rewire that with this attempt to force the installation of an abortion exhibit at the Missouri State Museum, Moon had moved beyond being simply an opponent of abortion and birth control.

“Not only is Mike Moon obsessed about outlawing abortion in Missouri … but he is also a racist and a bigot,” said Dreith. “The Missouri Republican Party needs to stand against Moon’s hate, yet they condone it by rapidly giving his bills hearings and attention by passing them out of the house.”

Dreith told the Kanas City Star that instead of an abortion exhibit at the Missouri State Museum devoted to the tools of abortion doctors, there should be an entire wing of the museum “outside Representative Moon’s office that shows the history of white male misogyny.”