The Missouri House approved a ban on certain surgical abortion procedures Tuesday by a vote of 127 to 29.
The bill defines the performance of certain surgical abortion procedures as infanticide, which is a felony offense. The measure includes an exception for doctors who perform the procedure to save a pregnant woman’s life, but not to preserve a patient’s health.
Opponents of the bill believe that the measure could potentially ban all surgical abortion procedures because the bill’s ban on aborting a “living infant” is overly vague, sets no time frame, and fails to define a specific banned procedure.
The bill passed in Missouri’s Senate last week and will likely be vetoed by Gov. Mel Carnahan. The bill’s supporters have promised efforts to override his veto at their annual veto session, which will begin on September 15. The bill’s sponsors need at least 109 votes to override a gubernatorial veto. Last year, a similar measure came close to forcing a veto override.