Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 565
Offenses Against the Person
Section 565.300

August 28, 2014


Beginning January 1, 2017--Infant's protection act--definitions--crime of infanticide--penalty--exception--application of law.

565.300. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Infant's Protection Act".

2. As used in this section, and only in this section, the following terms shall mean:

(1) "Born", complete separation of an intact child from the mother regardless of whether the umbilical cord is cut or the placenta detached;

(2) "Living infant", a human child, born or partially born, who is alive, as determined in accordance with the usual and customary standards of medical practice and is not dead as determined pursuant to section 194.005, relating to the determination of the occurrence of death, and has not attained the age of thirty days post birth;

(3) "Partially born", partial separation of a child from the mother with the child's head intact with the torso. If vaginally delivered, a child is partially separated from the mother when the head in a cephalic presentation, or any part of the torso above the navel in a breech presentation, is outside the mother's external cervical os. If delivered abdominally, a child is partially separated from the mother when the child's head in a cephalic presentation, or any part of the torso above the navel in a breech presentation, is outside the mother's external abdominal wall.

3. A person commits the offense of infanticide if he or she causes the death of a living infant with the purpose to cause said death by an overt act performed when the infant is partially born or born.

4. The offense of infanticide is a class A felony.

5. A physician using procedures consistent with the usual and customary standards of medical practice to save the life of the mother during pregnancy or birth or to save the life of any unborn or partially born child of the same pregnancy shall not be criminally responsible under this section. In no event shall the mother be criminally responsible pursuant to this section for the acts of the physician if the physician is not held criminally responsible pursuant to this section.

6. This section shall not apply to any person who performs or attempts to perform a legal abortion if the act that causes the death is performed prior to the child being partially born, even though the death of the child occurs as a result of the abortion after the child is partially born.

7. Only that person who performs the overt act required under subsection 3 of this section shall be culpable under this section, unless a person, with the purpose of committing infanticide, does any act which is a substantial step towards the commission of the offense which results in the death of the living infant. A "substantial step" is conduct which is strongly corroborative of the firmness of the actor's purpose to complete the commission of the offense.

8. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to exclude the defenses otherwise available to any person under the law including defenses provided pursuant to chapters 562 and 563.

(L. 1999 H.B. 427, et al., A.L. 2014 S.B. 491)

Effective 1-01-17

(2002) Section does not contain an exception to liability for actions undertaken to preserve the life of the mother, and the culpable mens rea of the physician must begin before performing the procedure rather than during the procedure. State v. Reproductive Health Services, 97 S.W.3d 54 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(2004) Section is unconstitutional due to absence of exception to protect health of the pregnant woman, as enunciated by United States Supreme Court in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000). Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood v. Nixon, 325 F.Supp.2d 991 (W.D.Mo.), aff'd., 429 F.3d 803 (8th Cir.).

Until December 31, 2016--Infant's protection act--definitions--crime of infanticide--penalty--exception--application of law.

565.300. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Infant's Protection Act".

2. As used in this section, and only in this section, the following terms shall mean:

(1) "Born", complete separation of an intact child from the mother regardless of whether the umbilical cord is cut or the placenta detached;

(2) "Living infant", a human child, born or partially born, who is alive, as determined in accordance with the usual and customary standards of medical practice and is not dead as determined pursuant to section 194.005, relating to the determination of the occurrence of death, and has not attained the age of thirty days post birth;

(3) "Partially born", partial separation of a child from the mother with the child's head intact with the torso. If vaginally delivered, a child is partially separated from the mother when the head in a cephalic presentation, or any part of the torso above the navel in a breech presentation, is outside the mother's external cervical os. If delivered abdominally, a child is partially separated from the mother when the child's head in a cephalic presentation, or any part of the torso above the navel in a breech presentation, is outside the mother's external abdominal wall.

3. A person is guilty of the crime of infanticide if such person causes the death of a living infant with the purpose to cause said death by an overt act performed when the infant is partially born or born.

4. The crime of infanticide shall be a class A felony.

5. A physician using procedures consistent with the usual and customary standards of medical practice to save the life of the mother during pregnancy or birth or to save the life of any unborn or partially born child of the same pregnancy shall not be criminally responsible under this section. In no event shall the mother be criminally responsible pursuant to this section for the acts of the physician if the physician is not held criminally responsible pursuant to this section.

6. This section shall not apply to any person who performs or attempts to perform a legal abortion if the act that causes the death is performed prior to the child being partially born, even though the death of the child occurs as a result of the abortion after the child is partially born.

7. Only that person who performs the overt act required under subsection 3 of this section shall be culpable under this section, unless a person, with the purpose of committing infanticide, does any act which is a substantial step towards the commission of the offense which results in the death of the living infant. A "substantial step" is conduct which is strongly corroborative of the firmness of the actor's purpose to complete the commission of the offense.

8. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to exclude the defenses otherwise available to any person under the law including defenses provided pursuant to chapters 562 and 563.

(L. 1999 H.B. 427, et al.)

Effective 9-16-99

*This bill was vetoed on July 12, 1999. The veto was overridden on September 16, 1999.

*This section was amended by S.B. 491, 2014, effective 1-01-17. Due to the delayed effective date, both versions of this section are printed here.

(2002) Section does not contain an exception to liability for actions undertaken to preserve the life of the mother, and the culpable mens rea of the physician must begin before performing the procedure rather than during the procedure. State v. Reproductive Health Services, 97 S.W.3d 54 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(2004) Section is unconstitutional due to absence of exception to protect health of the pregnant woman, as enunciated by United States Supreme Court in Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000). Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood v. Nixon, 325 F.Supp.2d 991 (W.D.Mo.), aff'd., 429 F.3d 803 (8th Cir.).


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