Summary of the Perfected Version of the Bill

HCS HB 1831 & 1472 -- ABORTIONS (Onder)

COMMITTEE OF ORIGIN:  Committee on Health Care Policy

This substitute changes the laws regarding the consent
requirements for obtaining an abortion.  Abortions cannot be
performed or induced without the voluntary, informed, and
uncoerced consent of the woman at least 24 hours prior to the
abortion.  The physician performing or inducing the abortion must
provide orally and in writing:

(1)  The physician's name;

(2)  Medically accurate information that describes the proposed
abortion method, medical risks, alternatives to the abortion, and
follow-up care information;

(3)  The gestational age of the unborn child; and

(4)  The anatomical and physiological characteristics of the
unborn child.

The licensed physician performing or inducing the abortion must:

(1)  Provide the pregnant woman with printed or video materials
from the Department of Health and Senior Services that describes
the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn
child's brain and heart functions, extremities, various methods
of abortion, risks associated with each method, possibility of
causing pain to the unborn child, alternatives to abortion, and
that the father of an unborn child is liable to provide child
support, even if he has offered to pay for an abortion.  The
materials must be available from the department by November 26,
2008, and must be legible, objective, unbiased, and
scientifically accurate.  All information provided to the
pregnant woman must be given to her in a private room to ensure
privacy, confidentiality, and no fear of coercion.  If needed, an
interpreter can be used.  All information must be provided at
least 24 hours before payment for an abortion can be accepted;

(2)  Provide the woman with an opportunity to view an ultrasound
and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child at a local health
facility that offer these services free of charge;

(3)  Explain that coercing a pregnant woman to get an abortion is
illegal and she is free to withhold or withdraw her consent to
the abortion anytime without fear of losing treatment and
assistance benefits; and

(4)  Prominently display statements encouraging a pregnant woman
seeking an abortion to contact agencies that help women carry an
unborn child to full term and that no one can coerce a person to
have an abortion.

The woman must certify in writing on a checklist form provided by
the department that she has received all of the required
materials; had an opportunity to view an active ultrasound image
of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat; and given her
voluntary and informed consent, freely and without coercion, to
the abortion procedure.  No abortion will be performed or induced
on an unborn child of 22 weeks gestational age or more unless the
mother is given the opportunity to have a pain alleviating drug
administered to the child.  The physician must retain a copy of
the form in the patient's medical record.

In the event of a medical emergency that results in an abortion,
the physician must certify in writing the nature and
circumstances of the emergency; and the certification must be
kept in the abortion-performing facility's permanent file for
seven years.

All abortion facilities must display a sign that notifies a
pregnant woman that it is illegal to coerce a woman to have an

The department must maintain a toll-free, confidential, 24-hour
hotline telephone number for callers to obtain regional
information about abortions, risks, and alternatives to abortions
and make the information available on the department's web site.

An employer cannot institute an occupational qualification that
an employee or applicant seek or obtain an abortion.

A person commits the crime of coercing an abortion if the person
knowingly coerces a woman to have an abortion by:

(1)  Committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit an
unlawful act against her or her family;

(2)  Abusing, stalking, or perpetrating an act of domestic
violence against her;

(3)  Terminating, attempting to terminate, or threatening to
terminate her employment;

(4)  Changing, attempting to change, or threatening to change her
employment compensation terms, conditions, or privileges of
employment; or

(5)  Revoking, attempting to revoke, or threatening to revoke a
public or private college scholarship.

A person will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for coercing an
abortion if he or she performs a prohibited act designed to cause
a woman to seek an abortion against her will or commits a
prohibited act in retaliation for a woman's refusal to have an
abortion.  When coercing an abortion and another offense is
committed, the penalty will be:

(1)  A class A felony with a maximum prison term of 10 years, a
fine of up to $10,000, or both when the offense committed was a
class A felony;

(2)  A class A felony when the offense committed was a class B

(3)  A class B felony when the offense committed was a class C

(4)  A class C felony when the offense committed was a class D

(5)  A class D felony when the offense committed was a class A
misdemeanor; and

(6)  A class A misdemeanor when the offense committed was either
a class B or class C misdemeanor.

It is not a defense to the crime of coercing an abortion that the
woman seeks or obtains an abortion or that the coercion involved
a woman who mistakenly believed she was pregnant.  Any person who
performs or induces an abortion and knows that the pregnant woman
has been coerced to have the abortion will be guilty of a class C
felony.  If the abortion provider has cause to believe that a
woman has been a victim of a coerced abortion and the victim is:

(1)  Younger than 18 years of age, the provider must notify the
Department of Social Services;

(2)  A person in the care or custody of the Department of Mental
Health, a report of abuse must be filed with the department;

(3)  A person 60 years of age or older who needs assistance to
perform activities to meet his or her essential human needs, a
report of abuse must be made to the Department of Health and
Senior Services; or

(4)  An adult who has been abused or stalked by a family or
household member, the abortion provider must give the woman
information about orders of protection.

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Cost on General Revenue Fund of $114,500
to Unknown in FY 2009, $117,922 to Unknown in FY 2010, and
$118,460 to Unknown in FY 2011.  No impact on Other State Funds
in FY 2009, FY 2010, and FY 2011.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
94th General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated October 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm