Missouri House passes 20-week ban on most abortions

Missouri House passes 20-week ban on most abortions
(Source: Raycom Media)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed a bill that would ban most abortions after a fetus is 20 weeks old.

The legislation passed 117-31 Tuesday includes an exception only when a woman's life is endangered or she is at "serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function." It now goes to the Senate.

Supporters say the goal is to prohibit most abortions after an age at which they believe fetuses can feel pain. Opponents argued women should have the choice to receive an abortion if their fetuses develop extreme abnormalities.

The Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, said that as of the end of last year there were 18 states with laws banning most abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization.

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