SS SB 34 -- INFORMED CONSENT FOR ABORTION
SPONSOR: Loudon (Holand)
COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Health
Care Policy by a vote of 10 to 2.
This substitute prohibits a person from intentionally causing,
aiding, or assisting a minor to obtain an abortion without the
informed consent required by Section 188.028, RSMo. Any person
who violates this provision will be civilly liable to persons
adversely affected by the action.
If civil liability is established, a court may award damages up
to $1,000, including attorney fees and court costs, to any person
adversely affected by a violation of the substitute. In
addition, a court may award punitive damages.
The substitute does not allow a defense to a claim which asserts
that the abortion was performed in accordance with the required
consent of the state or place where the abortion was performed.
The substitute also contains a provision which prohibits an
unemancipated minor from having the capacity to consent to any
action in violation of the substitute or Section 188.028.
A court may enjoin conduct in violation of the substitute upon a
petition by the Attorney General, a prosecuting attorney or
circuit attorney, or a person adversely affected or who may be
adversely affected. In order for a court to enjoin any
violation, the substitute requires that there must be a showing
that such conduct has occurred in the past and it is not
unreasonable to expect that such conduct will be repeated or that
such conduct is reasonably anticipated to occur in the future.
FISCAL NOTE: No impact on state funds.
PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the substitute is good public
policy and creates a civil remedy for persons who are adversely
affected by a violation of the parental consent statute for
abortion. A physician in another state would be required to
obtain the informed consent from an authorized person for a minor
born in Missouri before performing an abortion.
Testifying for the bill were Senator Loudon; Campaign Life of
Missouri; and Missouri Catholic Conference.
OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the substitute say that it raises a
number of legal issues such as medical privacy, the authority to
provide consent if a minor is in foster care, and free speech. A
majority of Missouri teenagers who seek abortion services outside
Missouri have a parent or guardian actively involved in the
decision to provide consent for an abortion.
Testifying against the bill were American Civil Liberties Union
of Eastern Missouri; Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region;
and National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League,
Joseph Deering, Legislative Analyst
Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives
Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated July 25, 2003 at 10:13 am