Missouri Senate Endorses Late-Term Abortion Bill
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to legislation adding more restrictions to the state's law on late-term abortions.
The legislation received first-round approval Wednesday by a voice vote after the leading Democratic opponent and the Republican Senate leader struck a compromise. The measure still would remove an exception referring generally to a women's health from the state's current ban on aborting viable fetuses.
But Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer agreed to remove a proposed new definition on when a fetus would be considered viable. That helped persuade Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus to quit blocking the bill from coming to a vote.
Figures from the Missouri health department show there were 63 abortions in 2009 on fetuses at least 21 weeks old, none of which were reported as viable.