Friday, March 18, 2011

Mo . House passes late-term abortion restrictions

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (MISSOURI DIGITAL NEWS) - According to a bill passed by the House, women no longer would be able to get abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy without a second doctor's opinion.

Under the bill, women still would be able to get an abortion if a second doctor gives approval for the procedure.

Doctors may be fined if they perform the procedure without a second opinion.

During the debate, Republican Representative John McCaherty said it is important to remember the restrictions of the bill apply only women who are over 20 weeks pregnant.

"At five months, my goodness, if you can't make a decision in five months, then there's more of a problem there than just the will to have an abortion," McCaherty says.

Some opponents of the bill argued it may be difficult for women of rural areas to access a second doctor, especially in the event of a medical emergency.

Others, like St. Louis Democratic Representative Tishuara Jones, spoke in opposition of any government control over a woman's decision.

"Get your hands out of my belly," Jones says. "Get them out, because this bill criminalizes the doctor-patient relationship and it tells women what to do with their bodies and their children."

Despite Jones's opinion, supporters of the bill said a fetus is considered viable at 20 weeks and therefore is a child.

Meghann Mollerus, Missouri Digital News


My goodness, 20 weeks is not five months. Then if there is more of a problem, it is McCaherty's arithmetic. Five months is more of the order of 22 weeks, depending on the months in question.

Missouri lawmakers, stay out of women's bellies.

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