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Missouri House approves bill banning abortion 20 weeks after fertilization

[JURIST] The Missouri House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [bill text] on Tuesday that would ban abortions occurring 20 weeks after fertilization.

House Bill 1266, known as the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," was sponsored by Republican House Member Donna Lichtenegger [official profile]. The legislation includes language defining the pain capable gestational age as 22 weeks following a woman's last menstrual period, which the bill equates to 20 weeks following fertilization.

The act also includes a provision requiring physicians to report all abortions to the department of health and senior services. The information to be reported includes information such the gestational age, process of determining gestational age, medical emergency if gestational age was not determined and the method of abortion. If a physician performs an abortion in violation of the act, they will be subject to discipline by the licensing board. Patients receiving abortions will not be penalized for abortions or attempted abortions in violation of the act.

The bill moves to the Senate where it will likely go to committee and be heard on the floor.

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