Abortion Ban Bill: John McCaherty Wants To Limit Sex Selection And Genetic Terminations

Rep. John McCaherty image.jpg
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Rep. John McCaherty
Representative John McCaherty, a Republican lawmaker, can't actually ban abortions in Missouri, because of that whole Roe v. Wade thing -- but that is not stopping him from trying his hardest to add limitations through a new bill that is sure to inspire controversy.

"We can't legally...stop her from aborting a child," McCaherty tells Daily RFT. "But we can restrict what doctors do."

And his bill does target physicians -- not women, who he insists would still have a right to choose under this proposal.

How would this work? And why does the bill have "abortion ban" in the title?

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House Bill 386 establishes what McCaherty, the initiative's sponsor, has called the "Abortion Ban for Sex Selection and Genetic Abnormalities Act of 2013." He tells us it does not violate federal policy and that it essentially empowers women to take legal action against their doctors if they feel they were misled or coerced into getting an abortion.

"It really doesn't affect a woman's decision. Obviously, that is guaranteed by the federal courts," he tells us. "It does restrict doctors from selling abortions to patients.... That's what some of them are doing.... We are seeing more and more the sales pitch: 'If this isn't what you really want, abort and try again.'"


As written, the bill, full proposal on view below, says that it is adding to "nine new selections relating to a ban on abortions for sex selection and genetic abnormalities, with penalty provisions."

It says:

No person shall intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion with knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the unborn child has been diagnosed with either Down syndrome or a potential for Down syndrome.

And in his bill, the same clause applies broadly to "genetic abnormalities" as well "sex selection" -- meaning if the women is choosing to have an abortion because of the predicted sex.

How, though, would the bill regulate the reason behind a women's decision to have an abortion?

While the language in the legislation seems punitive, McCaherty tells us that this legislation simply gives women tools to go after their doctors and creates no penalties for women themselves.

"Down syndrome kids [can be]...very special, very unique, very wonderful children," he says. "That in and of itself is not a reason to abort. It's still her choice. But I don't think it should be the doctor who makes the decisions."

Anti Roe V Wade protest.jpeg

Physicians, as his proposal is written, could face misdemeanor charges or potentially felony charges if they have previously pled guilty or been convicted of these violations.

"I have heard from women who feel they were coerced into having abortions," he says, adding, "Even people that are pro-choice...say sex selection is kind of extreme."

While he repeatedly says he cannot restrict women's choices, he adds, "Obviously, I'm pro-life and my intent would be to limit the number of abortions happening. Would this bill do that? I don't know.... But the decision ought to be between a mother and a father without outside influence from doctors or Planned Parenthood or whoever would be in the business of selling abortions."

He adds, "If a woman truly wants an abortion, she can have it."

Continue for response from one Democratic opponent and the full bill.

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My Voice Nation Help

So they cant ban it outright, but they make it damn near impossible to get.  I thought these were the loons that were all about personal freedoms and small government?

Before long, they will make women write a full length novel in order to have this procedure since in the time it takes, the baby will be born.  No matter if its a wanted child or not, if it was created from a rape or worse, even if it is being born into bone crushing poverty where food is sometimes not an option.  Just as long as it pops out and then someone else can worry about it.

And they wonder why republicans are so unpopular.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

Since when do doctors EVER DECIDE for the woman when to get an abortion?

KarateKid SplitLip
KarateKid SplitLip

I will NEVER understand how on earth lawmakers, esp males, think it is right to make laws regarding your healthcare between you and your doc . If a Dr. misguides or coerces me, isn't that what lawyers and malpractice insurance is for? Lets just bog down the system with more b.s so if someone does need to sue, it is nearly impossible because of some law. How about we concentrate on the economy? That way we can afford the babies this guy won't let us abort...

Jeffrey Houska
Jeffrey Houska

There is no way I could ever say think or believe that people should be allowed to end the life if a child inside of them .

Jeri Michelle Reuter
Jeri Michelle Reuter

My brother was born with Trisomy; I and others in my family have the potential to have a child like him. I love my brother, but it's not the life my mother envisioned, affecting her life and all our lives in ways we could never have imagined. Would I continue a pregnancy that would give me that same way of life? I certainly don't know...but I want that choice. Say what you will, but until you've walked in that persons shoes, you will never understand. This bill is BS.

Nicholas Frisella
Nicholas Frisella

"Obviously, I'm pro-life and my intent would be to limit the number of abortions happening. Would this bill do that? I don't know....." - John McCaherty

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