Abortion Bill to Nixon's Desk

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JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate bill placing restrictions on late-term abortions is headed to the governor's desk Thursday, after passing the House.

Both chambers of the Missouri statehouse passed similar bills Thursday placing restrictions on late-term abortions.

The measures ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, allowing for the procedure if the child is proved "unviable".

Both bills are identical except for in bill number. The House voted 121-33 after shutting off debate. The Senate voted 28-5.

Representatives asked for the debate not to mention some of the more groteque details of abortion, taking into account school children in the gallery. However, eventually some Republican lawmakers discussed the medical procedure in detail.

"If you oppose the barbaric practice that is late-term abortions and the anecdotes are countless and unceasing and I could go through all the gory details but I'll spare you," said House Majority leader, Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

Democrats argued the bill diminishes the role of the physician, who's chief role is to serve the well-being of his/her patient. Republican lawmakers argued it is main duty of government to preserve life.

"The state has no interest in this, these are personal medical decisions, these are rare tragic pregnancy decisions," said Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis.

KOMU 8 spoke with the Governor's office Thursday but it did not indicate if he would sign or veto the legislation. Last year, an late-session abortion bill landed on the Governor's desk. He excercised his ability to neither sign, nor veto the legislation, and simply let it turn into law.