Missouri 20-Week Abortion Ban (HB 757)
This law was last updated on Jul 6, 2017
HB 757 would prohibit a person from performing or inducing, or attempting to perform or induce, an abortion of an “unborn child” capable of feeling pain unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the pregnant patient.
The bill states that an “unborn child” is capable of feeling pain when a physician determines that the probable post-fertilization age of the patient’s fetus is twenty or more weeks.
The bill includes legislative findings based on junk science that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.
If an abortion of a fetus at 20 weeks gestation or more is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the patient, the physician would need to terminate the pregnancy in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive, unless, in reasonable medical judgment, termination of the pregnancy in that manner would pose a greater risk either of the death of the pregnant patient or of the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the patient.
Any person who intentionally or recklessly performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion in violation of this section would be guilty of a felony.
No penalty may be assessed against the pregnant patient upon whom the abortion is performed or induced or attempted to be performed or induced.
Any physician who performs or induces or attempts to perform or induce an abortion would need to report to the department the following information:
- The post-fertilization age. If a determination was made, whether ultrasound was employed, and the week of probable post-fertilization age determined. If no determination was made, the basis of determination that a medical emergency existed;
- Which method of abortion was employed;
- Whether and intra-fetal injection was used;
- The age and race of the patient;
- If the fetus was deemed capable of feeling pain, the basis of determination that termination of the pregnancy was still necessary in order to avert serious health risk to the patient; and
- If the fetus was deemed capable of feeling pain; whether the method of abortion was used that provided the best opportunity for the “unborn child” to survive.
The reports would be maintained in strict confidence by the department, and would not be available for public inspection. Reports would be made available to the attorney general or a district attorney during criminal or civil investigations.
The department would be required to release an annual statistical report based on all the compiled reports from the previous year.
Any physician who fails to submit a report on time would be subject to a late fee of $1,000. Intentional or reckless failure by any physician to conform to any requirement of this section, other than late filing of a report, constitutes unprofessional conduct.
The bill goes on to describe the various individuals that may file a cause of action against a physician who violates this provision.
Litigation Defense Fund
The bill would also establish a special fund known as the “Missouri Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Litigation Fund,” for the purpose of providing funds to pay for any costs and expenses incurred by the state in relation to defending this law.
Based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee.
Similar to HB 692.