It would become a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion under a bill receiving preliminary approval in the House.
By a 115-to-41 vote, the House gives preliminary approval to a bill enhancing Missouri’s informed consent law and outlawing coercing a woman to have an abortion.
HCS HB 46 & 434 would require that a woman considering an abortion be given a wide variety of material on abortion, the procedure and the fetus. She would be given an option to see an ultrasound of the fetus. Also, the bill would make it a felony to coerce a woman into having an abortion.
The bill, as with all abortion measures in the House, created controversy and sharp exchanges during floor debate. Perhaps the most emotional debate came during discussion of an amendment that would have provided an exemption to women who had been raped or were victims of incest. Some representatives questioned whether the measure would prohibit a parent from advising a minor daughter to have an abortion.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-Blue Springs), state during House floor debate that he believes the bill would reduce abortions in Missouri, because a well-informed woman is less likely to have an abortion.
The bill needs one more positive vote to move to the Senate.