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Missouri House sends 'personhood' constitutional amendment to the Senate

Jason Rosenbaum|St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would grant so-called "personhood" status to unborn fetuses at every stage of development.

House Joint Resolution 98, if added to the state constitution, would extend the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to the unborn.  It's sponsored by representative Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove.

"When we see a pregnant woman, we know what's inside; it's a developing human baby boy or girl," Moon said. "I request that this entire body seriously consider what is going on in our society when we snuff out the life of a unique human individual for the sake of convenience … I want us to allow the voters of Missouri to weigh in on this decision and allow them to vote to make this a part of our constitution."

Democrats argued that the measure would essentially outlaw abortion in Missouri and would eventually be ruled unconstitutional.

"I don't need a resolution to tell me what a baby is, or to tell me how important my child is, and how blessed that I am to have my child," said representative Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis.  

The resolution now goes to the Missouri Senate, with just over a week left in the 2016 legislative session.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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

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