By a vote of 117-31, the Missouri House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB 1266). Sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-Cape Girardeau), HB 1266 would make it illegal in Missouri to perform an abortion after 20 weeks, a point at which an unborn child is capable of feeling pain.
A number of pro-life physicians and other witnesses have been speaking out in support of this legislation at the national level for several years now, and at least 17 states have passed similar laws. Scientific developments and our understanding of neonatal physiology are revealing that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks, putting a renewed emphasis on the humanity of the unborn at this stage of development.
The bill now moves to the Missouri Senate, which has only six weeks remaining to debate and consider additional legislation.