HB213C-ABORTIONS
Summary of the Committee Version of the Bill

HCS HB 213 -- ABORTIONS

SPONSOR:  Sater (Jones, 89)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Health
Care Policy by a vote of 9 to 1.

This substitute specifies that no abortion of a viable unborn
child can be performed or induced except in the case of a medical
emergency where the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of
the pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical
disorder, illness, or injury or when the continuation of the
pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and
irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of
the pregnant woman.  Except in the case of a medical emergency, a
physician must, prior to performing or inducing an abortion,
determine the gestational age of the unborn child in a manner
consistent with accepted obstetrical and neonatal practices and
standards.

If a physician determines that the gestational age of the unborn
child is 20 weeks or more, he or she must, prior to performing or
inducing an abortion, determine if the unborn child is viable by
performing medical examinations and tests as are necessary to
make a finding of the gestational age, weight, and lung maturity
of the unborn child and enter that information in the woman's
medical record.  If a physician determines the gestational age of
the unborn child is 20 weeks or more and the unborn child is not
viable and an abortion is performed or induced, the physician
must report these findings and determinations and the reasons for
the determinations to the health care facility in which the
abortion is performed and to the State Board of Registration for
the Healing Arts within the Department of Insurance, Financial
Institutions and Professional Registration.  The physician must
also enter the determinations in the woman's medical records and
in the individual abortion report submitted to the Department of
Health and Senior Services.

A physician must certify in writing the medical threat posed to
the life of the pregnant woman or the medical reasons that
continuation of the pregnancy would cause a serious risk of
substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major
bodily function of the pregnant woman before the physician can
proceed with performing or inducing an abortion on a woman when
it has been determined that the unborn child is viable.

Before a physician may perform or induce an abortion on a woman
carrying an unborn child that has been determined to be viable,
he or she must:

(1)  Certify in writing and obtain the agreement of a second
physician who has knowledge of accepted obstetrical and neonatal
practices and standards that the abortion is necessary to
preserve the life of the pregnant woman or that continuation of
the pregnancy would cause a serious risk of substantial and
irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of
the pregnant woman.  The second physician cannot have any legal
or financial affiliation or relationship with the physician
performing or inducing the abortion;

(2)  Use the available method or technique of abortion that is
most likely to preserve the life or health of the unborn child;
and

(3)  Have in attendance at the abortion a second physician who is
responsible for taking control of and providing immediate medical
care for a child born as a result of the abortion.

Any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an
unborn child in violation of these provisions will be guilty of a
class C felony and subject to imprisonment for not less than one
year and a fine of not less than $10,000 or more than $50,000.
Any physician licensed in this state who performs or induces an
abortion of an unborn child in violation of these provisions will
have his or her license suspended for three years.  Any licensed
hospital or ambulatory surgical center in which an abortion is
performed or induced in violation of these provisions will be
subject to the suspension or revocation of its license.

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Net Cost on General Revenue Fund of Less
than $102,760 in FY 2012, Less than $100,000 in FY 2013, and Less
than $100,000 in FY 2014.  No impact on Other State Funds in FY
2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the bill is constitutionally
defensible and supported by case law principles in an effort to
ban late-term abortions.  Current state law is vague and
ineffective.  The bill defines "viability" which is a new
component and addresses health risks and a therapeutic abortion.
Currently, case law in the state supports setting the viability
cutoff at 20 weeks which has been upheld by a Supreme Court
decision.  Because of the advances in neonatal care, the bill is
necessary.  There are safeguards in the bill for a pregnant woman
by requiring one doctor to care for her and one doctor to perform
the abortion.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Jones (89); Missouri
Family Policy Council; Missouri Right to Life; Campaign Life
Missouri; Missouri Catholic Conference; Missouri Baptist
Convention, Christian Life Commission; and Missouri Family
Network.

OPPONENTS:  Those who oppose the bill say that determining
viability at 20 weeks is unreasonable because no baby born prior
to 21 weeks has ever survived.  For fetuses delivered around 20
weeks, life is difficult and meaningless; and the Supreme Court
has ruled that life should be meaningful outside the womb.  The
mother's mental health has never before been addressed.  The
punitive provisions in the bill are over-reaching by applying the
penalty to an entire hospital.  The bill does not enhance the
protections for a pregnant woman in her treatment or health care.
The bill is unconstitutional based on the Casey case, Roe v Wade,
and others.  The bill is so punitive that it only incites
illegally performed abortions by limiting access to legally
performed abortions by discouraging physicians to perform
abortions due to liability and criminal charge concerns.

Testifying against the bill was NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives


Missouri House of Representatives
96th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session
Last Updated August 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm