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Abortion Bill Gains Preliminary House Approval

The Missouri House gave first round approval to a bill that allows parents of pregnant teenagers to sue anyone who helps that teen get an abortion without parental consent. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The legislation would make it a crime for anyone to help a minor go to another state without parental consent to get an abortion.

Missouri requires parental consent for teens seeking abortions'Illinois does not.

The bill sponsor is Republican Representative Jane Cunningham.

But some lawmakers raised concerns that there may be certain instances when a minor may have legitimate reasons for not telling her parents about her pregnancy and plans to get an abortion.

Democratic Representative Rachel Storch says this bill could have negative results for some teenagers.

But the bill sponsor Jane Cunningham says state law already provides an alternative for women who have legitimate concerns about seeking parental consent before getting an abortion.

But some lawmakers say they were upset that the bill focused on tightening regulations a procedure related exclusively to women's health.

Springfield Democratic Representative Sara Lampe.

Others expressed concern that the bill does nothing to increase sex education and awareness that would lead to a reduction in teen pregnancies.

Representative Maria Chappelle-Nadal says by failing to address these issues, lawmakers are failing to address a cause of poverty.

Many supporters of this bill say they do support efforts to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, especially the number of unwanted pregnancies among teenagers. But they say that's a separate issue from the one that's addressed in this bill.

The bill faces a final vote in the House before it can move to the Senate.