After about 15 hours of stalling and negotiating, the Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy. During the wee hours this morning, the chamber endorsed the measure along party lines that includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest cases. Under the plan, abortion doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week limit.
Lake St. Louis Republican Bob Onder, who was visibly outraged, does not think the legislation is tough enough. He says many things were stripped out of the original version.
“What in the world was the justification for why we can’t protect babies born alive after abortions,” he asks. “This should be entitled not the ‘Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act’ but ‘Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act – sort of kind of only after the minority party and the smartest Planned Parenthood lawyers in the country were done with the bill’. We should be ashamed of ourselves. This bill, yes, is better than nothing but is a shadow of what it once was.”
Onder also made a serious allegation about the trafficking of fetal tissue.
“They removed the ban on fetal tissue trafficking. Right now, I’ve become very convinced for a number of reasons, that there is active trafficking of aborted fetal tissue from the abortion clinic on Forest Park Avenue in St. Louis to Washington University School of Medicine,” he says.
Creve Coeur Democrat Jill Schupp disputes the claim.
“It’s already illegal and it’s simply untrue,” Schupp says. “It’s disappointing to me to hear the Senator speak that way.”
M’Evie Mead with Planned Parenthood says the “rhetoric” is blatantly false and irresponsible.
Schupp goes on to say it is outrageous the bill does not contain exemptions for victims of human trafficking, rape or incest.
“House Bill 126 is still an extreme and egregious piece of legislation that puts women’s health at risk,” she says. “It is unconstitutional. It is dangerous.”
She says the proposal would also cap tax credits to pro-life pregnancy resource centers at a 70% return rate.
“This is an irresponsible move. We don’t know what the fiscal note from year to year will end up being,” Schupp says.
The proposal would also ban doctors from providing an abortion if the baby would have Down syndrome and abortions sought because of the sex or race of the child. The measure would require both parents to be notified if a minor child is seeking an abortion.
With two days to go in the legislative session, House Bill 126 heads back to the House.
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