Missouri Unborn Child Protection from ‘Dismemberment Abortion’ Act (HB 920)
This law was last updated on Mar 28, 2016
HB 920 would prohibit a person from performing, or attempting to perform, a “dismemberment abortion” unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the fetus’s mother.
The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean “with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”
The bill provides that no woman nor anyone acting under the direction of a physician (nurse, technician, secretary, receptionist or other employee or agent) is liable for performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion.”
The bill provides for civil and criminal penalties.
This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)