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Partial-Birth Abortion Bill Approved by Committee

February 18, 1999
By: Melissa Miller
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 427

JEFFERSON CITY - The House Criminal Law Committee approved Thursday a ban on partial-birth abortion similar to what the governor vetoed two years ago.

The measure would define the crime of "infanticide" and classifies it as an A felony, the highest crime. The proposal was approved by the House committee by a 12 to 5 vote.

Gov. Mel Carnahan has insisted that any partial-birth abortion ban include an exception for cases in which the mother's health is at risk.

But the committee rejected a health-exception amendment by a margin of 9 to 5.

"The Supreme Court has said it will strike down any law without a limit for the mother's health," warned committee Chairman Craig Hosmer, D-Springfield.

This will be the third year a partial-birth abortion bill has hit the floor in the Missouri legislature.

"Both sides are obstinate and there is not as much dialogue as there should be," Hosmer said. "Hopefully, that will change this year."

But so far, neither the governor nor anti-abortion lawmakers have indicated any change in their positions.