Move toward abortion ban in Missouri

Plus, better reproductive-rights news from Portugal.


Tracy Clark-Flory
March 10, 2007 2:12AM (UTC)

Another maverick lawmaker is hoping to outlaw abortion. This time around, it's Missouri Rep. Cynthia Davis, who has crafted a bill to ban all "elective abortions" within the state. This is the same legislator who -- you just can't make this stuff up -- filed repeated bills to remove contraception from the state's required sex-ed curriculum.

"Studies show that the majority of Missourians are pro-life," said Davis. "It is our state and our right as a state to define what is fitting with our constituents." Davis already has her definition penned, in the form of HS-990 -- a bill still requiring committee review. As written, it decrees that "any person who performs or induces, or attempts to perform or induce, an abortion on another, other than to save the life of the mother, is guilty of a class B felony."

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No one can say the woman isn't -- maddeningly, idiotically -- consistent: She has refused to work with the local chapter of Planned Parenthood to prevent unwanted pregnancies. "We have common sense solutions that the public supports and would like Davis to help us," said Paula Gianino, president of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood. "Understanding prevention is where we ought to focus our energy, not outright bans." Ah yes, but you know what they say about common sense.

In better reproductive-rights news, Portugal's Parliament finally approved a bill to legalize abortion within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. This is a definite victory -- particularly for the estimated 10,000 women treated every year for botched, back-alley abortions -- and a mark of progress for the Roman Catholic country. But, as one of my co-workers rightly said: Ten weeks ain't much!


Tracy Clark-Flory

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