Sunday, May 15, 2011

Abortion Restricted in Missouri after 20 Weeks

The legislature, with veto-proof majorities, passed restrictions to abortions past 20 weeks gestation unless the fetus is proved to be not "viable" plus a second physician's evaluation of the mother -- a law unlike other states' latest legislation.
"I'm pro-life for myself, but I'm pro-choice for everyone else."
-- Rep. Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis
For background, read Pro-life Legislation Floods America and also read 'Late-Term' Abortion Redefined: Fetal Pain

-- From "Bill with stricter abortion limits goes to Nixon" by Jason Noble, Kansas City Star 5/12/11

Performing an abortion on a viable fetus when the mother’s health did not require it would be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000.

The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Rep. Tim Jones, the Eureka Republican who sponsored the bill in the House, said the changes rewrite Missouri’s ban on “partial-birth” abortion to be a ban on “late-term” abortions.

With passage of the bill, Jones said, Missouri joins Kansas as the only states in the nation with a true late-term abortion ban.

The House passed the bill on a bipartisan 121-33 vote on the next to the last day of its 2011 session. The Senate approved it 27-5 in early April.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Abortion restrictions pass Missouri Legislature" by Rebecca Berg, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/13/11

Current state law already prohibits abortions of fetuses considered viable except "to preserve the life and health of the woman." The new measure would allow such an abortion only in the case of a medical emergency or if the life of the mother is at serious risk. Though some legislators lobbied for it, an exception was not added for the mental health of the mother.

The other change in the new bill specifies that the new restrictions apply to abortions after 20 weeks. Current law does not set an exact gestational age, but instead relies on viability alone to determine what constitutes a late-term abortion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "With veto-proof majorities, legislature passes new abortion restrictions" by Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies, St. Louis Beacon political reporter 5/12/11

State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, called Jones' bill "a constitutionally defensible bit of legislation that relates to the primary purpose of government -- the protection of life." He mentioned seeing a sonogram of his first grandchild after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

"That is a child, that is a child, which government must defend," Cox said, referring to the picture. "To defend the weak is the primary role of government."

State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific and an abortion opponent, read portions of the U.S. Constitution that he said made clear that "we're all entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law,'' whether born or in the womb.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Late-term abortion bill heads to Missouri governor" by Bruce Olson, Reuters 5/12/11

. . . Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst with the Guttmacher Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based pro-choice group that tracks state abortion laws, said Missouri's law is unique.

"It doesn't ban abortion outright at 20 weeks," Nash said. "What it says is you have to determine if the fetus is viable or not after 20 weeks. Before doing the procedure a number of tests are required including lung maturity. If the fetus is not viable, then you report those findings and you can do the abortion."

Nash said the emphasis on viability means the Missouri law could stand a better chance of withstanding legal challenges. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court has moved away from a trimester-based approach when considering laws that limit abortion and toward an approach based on viability.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.