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Missouri House bill would ban webcam abortions

Missouri House bill would ban webcam abortions

February 20th, 2013 in News

Attendees applaud the guest speaker as pro-life advocates filled the room for Tuesday's Pro-Life Action Day at the statehouse. Visitors from across the state made their presence and voices known as they listened to speakers, prayed, then dispersed to visit with their local legislators.

Missouri Right to Life and pro-life supporters rallied Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol to show their support for abortion-related, pro-life legislation in the General Assembly.

Pam Fichter, president of Missouri Right to Life, said the organization's primary legislative focus this year is to ban webcam abortions.

Webcam abortions are done by a videoconferencing system. A woman will go to a clinic and have an ultrasound. That ultrasound will be sent by video to a doctor at another location. The doctor and the patient will talk over videoconferencing, and the doctor can press a button which will open a drawer with pills at the patient's location.

The patient will take those pills, go home and take more pills the next day. The baby will then be aborted.

Currently webcam abortions don't exist in Missouri, and several state lawmakers want to make sure they never do.

One proposed Senate bill and two proposed House bills seek to regulate abortion-causing drugs, which would in turn ban webcam abortions.

Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, proposed House Bill 400 that "requires the administration of RU-486 (mifepristone) or any other abortion-inducing drug or chemical to occur in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed or otherwise provided the drug or chemical to the patient."

The bill would also require a patient to return for a follow-up visit.

Riddle said, put simply, that her bill would not allow webcam abortions in Missouri.

She said prayer will help this bill through the legislative process.

"God never said it would be easy, only that he would be with us," she said.

Other bills in the General Assembly would ban sex-selection abortions, provide protection for medical personnel if they choose not to participate in a service that violates his or her conscience or principles, protect a licensed pharmacy owner from being required to carry or maintain in inventory any specific prescription or nonprescription drug or device, extend and protect the pregnancy resource center tax credits, specify protection of rights for Alternative-to-Abortion agencies, require an ultrasound 24 hours prior to having an abortion and continue funding for Alternatives-to-Abortion through an appropriations budget bill.

Abortions in Missouri have been reduced by 25 percent in the past 10 years, which Fichter said is because of pro-life supporters, pro-life legislation, technology, and the younger generation's commitment to pro-life.

She said the fight for life will continue.

"Let's give all we can to uphold and be worthy," Fichter said. "Let's work to protect God's most innocent creation."