Over the past two days, the Missouri House debated a resolution disapproving of federal legislation meant to overturn state abortion restrictions.
Any debate over abortion rights is likely to elicit strong reaction from both sides of the argument. Heck, one lawmaker had to apologize when he described the measure as the biggest federal government power grab since the "War of Northern Aggression." But this non-binding resolution won't have any impact besides expressing an opinion.
Yet, the final vote count - 116-40 - might be more telling than the resolution's subject matter.
Gov. Jay Nixon supports abortion rights and could veto any restrictions on the practice. While there are probably enough votes in the Missouri Senate to override a veto, there are questions about whether such a margin exists in the House. House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said a veto override vote on an abortion bill would be "close" in the House.
Truth be told, 116 votes is enough to overturn Nixon's veto. So this resolution may have been a test to see if enough proverbial ducks are in a row.
"For Missourians United for Life, today's overwhelming House vote is a sign to leaders in Washington, DC and to all Missourians that pro-abortion extremists should not make public policy for America," said Ed Martin of Missourians United For Life. "The majority in the House represents a veto-proof number that could override a veto by pro-abortion Governor Jay Nixon of any pro-life legislation passed."
It'll remain to be seen if House Democrats exert more pressure on members when a bill of substance comes along. But today's vote might be a harbinger for more abortion-related legislation in the near future.