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Mo. House committee hears bill that would end "late term" abortions

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).

A Missouri House committee heard testimony today on a bill that would make it illegal to abort a fetus deemed capable of living outside the womb.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless two doctors verify that a fetus is either not viable or constitutes a medical threat to the mother.

It's sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka).

"Late term abortions...are very dangerous barbaric practices," Jones told the House Health Care Policy Committee.  "I've got a whole folder (of information) here, where because of the abortion, the mother ended up dying because the abortion was botched."

Pamela Sumners with the group NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri testified against the bill.

"I think it's certainly unconstitutional under the case that was the companion case to Roe (v. Wade)," Sumners said.  "(It) actually involved a woman (having) to go to a panel of hospital administrators and a panel of doctors in order to get permission to have an abortion...the (U.S.) Supreme Court said 'that's unconstitutional.'"

Doctors who violate the proposed law could spend up to a year in prison and be fined between $10,000 and $50,000.

The committee took no action on the bill after the hearing ended.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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