House Committee Hears Abortion Bills

The House Health Care Policy Committee heard two abortion-related bills this week. HB 177, sponsored by Representative Andrew Koenig (R-Winchester), would require a physician (rather than a nurse, or other health care professional) to administer RU-486 to a patient in order to induce an abortion. In addition, prior to administering the drug, the physician must examine the patient 24 hours beforehand, document the gestational age of the child and whether an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is present, and provide the patient with the FDA-approved labels for the drugs to be used, as well as comply with all other requirements of Missouri abortion law.

The bill is intended, in part, to prevent chemical abortions from being performed in Missouri through telemedicine, a practice that Planned Parenthood has started implementing in Iowa.

HB 298, sponsored by Representative Keith English (D-Florissant), would require that an ultrasound be provided to a woman 24 hours before she has an abortion. The majority of women who see an ultrasound image of their developing child choose life, even when they were considering an abortion

The MCC testified in support of both bills, arguing that both are reasonable requirements that would provide needed information to women facing crisis pregnancies.

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