Missouri Pro-Choice Silenced On the Floor For House Late Abortion Vote

The Missouri House voted yesterday to remove exceptions for a mother’s health from the state’s later term abortion ban, allowing women only to get an abortion after viability if her life is in immediate danger and two doctors have confirmed that fact.

Via NECN.com:

A bill given first-round approval Monday would remove a general exception for the woman’s health from Missouri’s current law banning abortions on viable fetuses. Instead, it would grant exceptions only when the woman’s life is endangered by a physical issue or when the pregnancy would pose a “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

It also would require concurrence from a second physician before an abortion is performed on a viable fetus.

Supporters of the extended ban claim that too many women are allowed to abort simply due to minor health issues or mental health claims, or that doctors are otherwise using the “health exception” at their own discretion.  Abortions after 17 weeks account for less that 5 percent of the abortions in Missouri, and the vast majority of those abortions happen before 21 weeks.

Those who opposed the change to the law were given little chance to explain the impact it would have on women seeking these rare later abortions, however, as Republicans shut off floor debate almost immediately. Via Missourinet.com:

The House debated HCS/HB 213 Wednesday for more than an hour, suspending debate until Monday. Only a few minutes into debate Monday afternoon, Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller (R-Willard) recognized Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane) who called for the Previous Question, a motion to vote to cut off debate. Majority Republicans voted in favor of Riddle’s motion, ending both the debate and the amendment process.

Riddle had little explanation afterward when asked by the Missourinet about the move.

“I didn’t see a lot of people standing,” Riddle told us. “So, ready to move on.”

The reason for the action eludes House Minority Leader Mike Talboy of Kansas City.

“I have no idea,” Talboy replied when asked why Republicans moved to cut off debate. “Obviously, they wanted to make sure that nobody had time to debate the merits of the bill.”

The move shocked Talboy, the top Democrat in the House.

“Extremely surprised, considering myself and a couple other of my members on both sides of the issue were standing at microphones,” Talboy said. “I had pro-choice and pro-life members at the microphone at that time.”

House members stand at the microphones on the floor to seek recognition. Riddle claimed she didn’t see any members requesting recognition.

If anti-choice politicians really believe that this ban is appropriate and necessary, why cut off debate before anyone could argue an opposing position?

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  • princess-jourdan

    Ladies, our country is turning into Taliban Afghanistan more and more everyday. Soon we will be left to bleed out and die on the hospital floors instead of being given appropriate medical care. Wake up and see all of this for what it really is: OUR GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT OUR HEALTH OR OUR VERY LIVES!!! Fight back with every inch of your being to protect yourselves from this deadly government!!

  • ack

    I hear about state after state where Republican majorities are doing everything they can to silence progressive voices. In WI, the Assembly waited until the D’s took a break to sneak a vote in, passing the budget bill that stripped unions of their collective bargaining rights and slashed social services to a devastating level. In their Senate, they simply voted on stripping the union rights, proving that the move had nothing to do with the budget. In AZ, they’ve been regularly using their supermajority to suspend the rules. Today, they’re cramming a budget through the Senate that was released YESTERDAY. During a committee hearing on an abortion bill, the Republican members simply voted to end the discussion, while Democrats still had unanswered questions, particularly regarding the lack of exception for rape and incest.


    They’re not interested in debate. These issues are ideological to them, and they are so far removed from the experiences of actual PEOPLE that the practical effects of their laws have lost meaning.


    I think another part of it is that they are SO pissed that Obama is in office that when the mid-terms hit, they decided to be as regressive as possible.