JEFFERSON CITY- After eight straight hours of debate the Missouri Senate approved the abortion bill Thursday evening. The bill now moves to the Missouri House of Representatives-also controlled by Republicans supporting the bill.
Emotions ran high on the Senate floor as Democrats attempted to halt the passage of the abortion bill that adds more restrictions to minors attempting to have an abortion.
The bill creates penalties for non-licensed physicians to perform abortions, and allows for anyone aiding a minor to obtain an abortion without consent to be held civilly liable.
Democratic leader Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis, spoke about her own experience of being pregnant at age 17 and how important it was to her to have someone outside her family to confide in.
"For a variety of reasons I did not feel that I could talk to my parents about my being pregnant," Coleman said. "The church was the only option I had."
Democrats unsuccessfully proposed several amendments to the bill, which included allowing family members other than the minor's parents to give consent to an abortion.
"It is necessary to understand that not just mother and father are raising a child in 2005," Coleman said.
However, bill sponsor Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, said that only parents should be given this privilege.
"Parental consent is not an anti-abortion law, we need to protect our children in a family situation," Loudon said.