The Missouri House has endorsed legislation barring local governments from regulating the speech and advertising of centers that counsel women on alternatives to abortion.
The bill says that state laws must protect the free speech of organizations that counsel women to carry their babies to term. Such organizations sometimes advertise their services as help with unwanted pregnancies.
Proponents say cities in other states have moved to require the centers to state certain things in their advertising, such as whether they actually provide abortions.
Opponents argue the legislation would let the groups distribute potentially false information.
The bill received first-round House approval Tuesday. Passage would require a second House vote and Senate approval before the legislative session ends May 18.