Missouri bill seeks to ban gender-based abortions

Friday, February 1, 2013 | 7:27 a.m. CST; updated 9:11 a.m. CST, Friday, February 1, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation proposed in the Missouri House would outlaw abortions performed solely because of the sex or potential genetic abnormality of the fetus.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. John McCaherty, of suburban St. Louis. It would allow criminal charges and civil lawsuits against doctors for performing abortions on women who they know are seeking to end a pregnancy solely based on gender or potential physical or mental disabilities.

Americans United for Life said the Missouri bill is modeled after a proposal it's also pursuing in other states. The anti-abortion group says "sex-selection abortions" have become increasingly common in some Asian countries.

McCaherty's bill was filed this week with more than 40 co-sponsors — about one-fourth of all House members. McCaherty is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Murphy.

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