Just weeks after the Missouri House voted on a bill restricting late-term abortions, the Missouri Senate passed a similar measure preventing most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Wrap: The bill heard on the Senate floor would require doctors to determine a fetus's viability if a woman wants to get an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Before performing an abortion after 20 weeks on a viable fetus, doctors also would have to get a second opinion from another physician.
Jackson Democratic Senator Jolie Justus said discussion on the bill is a waste of time, since abortions after 20 weeks typically are not done on viable fetuses.
|Description: "This bill only affects abortions that take place after 20 weeks. In 2009, there were 63 of those abortions in the state of Missouri. Every one of those abortions was on a non-viable fetus."|
Following a similar House vote just weeks ago, Missouri Senators passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks unless the fetus is determined non-viable by two physicians.
Wrap: The bill would prevent women from getting a late-term abortion if a fetus is determined viable.
If a physician says the fetus is not viable, the doctor must get a second opinion of another physician before performing the abortion.
Jackson Democratic Senator Jolie Justus said lawmakers should not be involved in a woman's decision whether to carry to term a fetus that has a fatal abnormality or has already died.
|Description: "What they are doing is basically interfering with the practice of medicine by passing this bill, because this is a decision doctors should be making with their families, and we should not be interfering with that here in the legislature."|
Despite Justus's opinion, the bill passed 27 to 5 with no floor debate.
From the Missouri State Capitol, I'm Meghann Mollerus.
The Missouri Senate passed its own version of a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, unless two physicians determine the fetus is non-viable.
Wrap: Under the bill, doctors would be guilty of a Class C felony if he or she performs a late-term abortion without seeking a second doctor's opinion on the fetus's viability.
Dexter Republican Senator and bill sponsor Rob Mayer has been working for years on late-term abortion legislation.
|Description: "We were very pleased it was third read and passed out of the Senate. It makes sure, in most cases, viable children are saved from abortion."|