Missouri House expected to debate abortion bill on Friday

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House Majority Leader’s office says the heartbeat abortion bill that has attracted national media attention is not expected to be debated in the House until Friday.

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr speaks to Capitol reporters on February 27, 2019 in Jefferson City, as State Reps. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, Adam Schnelting and Nick Schroer look on (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The office of House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, tells Missourinet debate is expected tomorrow.

Missouri’s 2019 legislative session ends Friday evening at 6, under the state Constitution.

The Missouri Senate voted early this morning to approve a bill that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Senate vote came after about 15 hours of filibustering and negotiations.

The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest cases.

The Senate debate became heated at times, with State Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, making a serious allegation about trafficking of fetal tissue.

“They removed the ban on fetal tissue trafficking. Right now, I’ve become very convinced for a number of reasons, that there is active trafficking of aborted fetal tissue from the abortion clinic on Forest Park Avenue in St. Louis to Washington University School of Medicine,” Onder said.

State Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Couer, disputes Onder’s claim.

“It’s already illegal and it’s simply untrue. It’s disappointing to hear the Senator speak that way,” Schupp says.

The House approved HB 126 in February by a 117-39 vote, with three Democratic lawmakers voting for the bill. They were State Reps. Steve Butz, D-St. Louis, Joe Runions, D-Grandview, and Rory Rowland, D-Independence.

The legislation, which is sponsored in the House by State Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon, would prohibit selective abortions due to sex, race or diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

Opponents include State Rep. Deb Lavander, D-Kirkwood, who has said that lawmakers should be focusing instead on Missouri’s high maternal mortality rate.

Copyright © 2019 · Missourinet

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