02/26/19 -- 0461H01.08H (Amendment 5 to HB 126) -- Prohibits abortions solely due to Down Syndrome, gender or race

Bill Number: 
0461H01.08H (Amendment 5 to HB 126)
Bill Purpose: 
Prohibits abortions solely due to Down Syndrome, gender or race
Date of Vote: 
02/26/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

This amendment, introduced by Representative Shamed Dogan (Republican - District 98) modifies HB 126 to prohibit abortions in cases where the doctor has knowledge that the reason for the abortion is due to a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, or due to the child's gender or race.

To be honest, I had some reservations about this amendment.  I think making certain actions illegal based solely on one's motivation is almost always a bad idea.  Aside from the fact that its usually very difficult to prove or disprove someone's motivation, I think such legislation can easily stray into the territory of government overreach -- we don't want to create offenses in the vein of "thought crimes" from 1984.

That said, it's pretty hard to defend even conceptually the idea of aborting a baby simply based on a disability, gender or race.  I do not condone eugenics, which is essentially what this amendment aims to combat.  So I did end up voting "yes" for this amendment, even though I recognize that it's probably a bit troublesome in how its implemented.  The reality is that the vast majority of people requesting such abortions are extremely unlikely to admit their reasoning, so this is probably not going to change much in the real world.  But it's worth something to make the statement that the State of Missouri does not support or tolerate such behavior.

The amendment passed overwhelmingly on a roll call vote.

passed overwhelmingly