A bill that would criminalize abortions after twenty weeks has been endorsed by the Health Care Policy Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives. The committee's approval, by a 9 to 1 vote, sends H.B. 213
to the rest of the house for its vote.
The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Tim Jones, (R-Eureka), would make it illegal to abort a fetus after twenty weeks, as long as that fetus could sustain life outside the womb, with or without life support. (The change in definition to fetal viability, to include fetuses that could only survive with artificial life support, is the biggest change to current law.)
Under Jones' bill, a doctor may perform an abortion on a fetus older than twenty weeks if he determines it's necessary to protect the pregnant woman's life or health. But even in such cases, the doc will have to get a second physician to sign off on the procedure -- and make a report with a state board, enumerating the reasons the abortion was needed.