JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate had its first taste of this year's debate on outlawing partial-birth abortion Wednesday.
A Senate committee indulged in two hours of testimony over a bill that would ban abortions in which a doctor partially delivers a child before aborting it. Any doctor performing the procedure could be charged with second degree murder.
The committee's chairman, John Schneider, D-St.Louis County, wouldn't give a specific date on when he would call a vote on the bill, but he said it would be soon.
The House passed the proposal on a vote of 131-26 in early April.
Gov. Mel Carnahan has said he would oppose legislation limiting abortions if they didn't have an exception for the life and health of the mother.
Last year Carnahan vetoed a similar ban on partial-birth abortions. The Senate missed an override of his veto by one vote.