JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House of Representatives has advanced a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would recognize the unborn as persons.
“We’re killing kids so fast it is insane,” said Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, during the floor debate on Tuesday. “The epidemic of abortion is so out of control. It is time we do something to put a stop to it.”
“[A]ll constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; … all persons, including unborn human children at every stage of biological development, have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry,” it reads in part.
“[T]his state recognizes the right to life of every unborn human child at every stage of biological development and shall protect such life from deprivation by the state or private action to the extent permitted by the federal Constitution,” the resolution continues. “Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
Last month, the House Committee on Children and Families approved the bill 8-3, sending it on to the full House for a vote, where it was debated on Tuesday. Opponents of the measure expressed concern that it would not leave an exceptions to an abortion.
“Do you believe that it’s just or compassionate to force a woman who’s been raped to have the child of the man who raped her?” asked Rep. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, according to the Associated Press.
Rep. Tila Hubrecht, R-Dexter, said that no matter the circumstance, children should not be deprived of the right to life.
“Sometimes bad things happen, and they’re horrible things,” she said. “But sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”
Dexter said that when she had to have an emergency cesarean section, she asked the doctors to “save the baby, no matter the cost.”
Others argued that the effort could result in the banning of birth control, but Republican supporters said that is not the case.
“What that does is puts Missouri in a position that it’s the most pro-life state in the country as allowed by the federal Constitution through the holdings of the United States Supreme Court,” said Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City.
The measure passed the House 112-36, but requires a second vote before it can move to the Senate.
Abortion has long been debated throughout American history and was strongly resisted in early America.
Philadelphia legal writer, educator and Christian apologist Francis Wharton, who wrote several books on American law, penned an entire chapter on abortion in his book “American Criminal Law,” published in 1855. Wharton called abortionists “persons who are ready to degrade their humanity to this occupation” and stated in regard to abortion in general, “Such conduct cannot be too strongly condemned, and is the more deserving of receiving the punishment awarded for the criminal offense in question.”
He proceeded to outline the wonders of fetal development in his book, showing that even in the fourth and fifth week of development, the facial features of the baby are distinctly recognized.
Nearly 60 million children have been murdered in the womb since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade.