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A now 3-year-old girl is seen after she was born at just 21 weeks and four days gestation. Today she is a thriving toddler.

Missouri House passes protections for unborn babies after 20 weeks

The Missouri House gave final approval this week to a bill that will provide protection from abortion for unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age. The Missouri Department of Health released a report stating in 2016 in the state of Missouri saw over 100 unborn babies who could feel pain aborted after 20 weeks.

By Dwight Widaman, Editor

By 20 weeks after fertilization, all the physical structures necessary to experience pain have developed. Unborn children at 20 weeks fetal age react to painful stimuli and hormonal reactions consistent with pain can be measured. There are multiple sources for this pain sensory information. One source is www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

Supporters of the proposal from Republican Representative Donna Lichtenegger of southeast Missouri’s Jackson and say there’s growing public support a 22 week abortion.

The 22 week ban squares with the bill’s 20 week restriction because Missouri, like most states, starts counting pregnancy two weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period.

The measure approved by the House prohibits abortions after 20 weeks unless a woman’s life is at risk or if there’s danger of substantial and irreversible harm to a bodily function.

Late term abortions are performed using different techniques, including a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute, manual force using a long stainless steel clamping tool. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy stated in his dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or (born) child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”

In a nationwide poll, done by Quinnipiac University, 60% of responders supported the federal bill (described as “legislation that would ban virtually all abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape and incest that are reported to authorities.” In pro-life Missouri, it is reasonable to assume that the support for this bill is even higher.

Opponents of the bill say if there’s an issue with the development of a baby, It’s more humane to kill the child peacefully instead of being born into a short life of pain.

The Missouri House vote of 117-31 shows the support for the bill as some the chamber’s 47 Democrats joined the Republican supermajority in backing the legislation.

The abortion bill is now in the Missouri Senate for consideration.

A statement from Missouri Right to Life stated, “We thank the sponsor, Representative Donna Lichtenegger for bringing this bill forward, the House leadership and all those who voted for HB 1266. We look forward to the Senate passage and the Governor’s support and signature on this critical legislation.”