Governor Jay Nixon did not sign or veto the House or Senate versions of late-term abortion legislation, so per the state Constitution it became law at the end of the day Thursday. The bills make illegal the abortion of any child deemed by two doctors to be “viable,” defined as able to survive outside the womb on its own.
House sponsor, Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones, says the word “viable” is important because it relates to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade; the seminal abortion case in U.S. history. In their decision, Jones says the Justices in that case gave states the ability to protect life at the point of viability. He believes, therefore, this law is Constitutional because it is based on whether a baby can survive on its own rather than identifying a period of weeks at which an abortion is no longer legal.
Jones says he is excited to see his bill adopted. He criticizes Nixon, however, saying the lack of action leaves voters wondering at the Governor’s stance on the issue and disappoints his pro-choice supporters.
The bill becomes effective August 28.