Missouri’s GOP-led Senate passes strict antiabortion bill
As states across the nation are pushing stringent antiabortion legislation, lawmakers in Missouri have passed a bill that aims to make Missouri what the governor called “one of the strongest pro-life states in the country.”
In the early hours of Thursday morning — before the legislators’ Friday deadline — Missouri’s Republican-controlled Senate voted 24-10 to pass the bill, which would ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, according to the Associated Press. The bill is headed to the Republican-controlled House for approval and, if it passes, it will be sent to Gov. Mike Parson for a signature.
The governor has showed strong support for the bill, tweeting in the hours leading up to the Senate vote, “It’s time to make Missouri the most Pro-Life state in the country! Thanks to leaders in the House and Senate, we are one vote away from passing one of the strongest #ProLife bills in the country — standing for life, protecting women’s health, and advocating for the unborn.”
It's time to make Missouri the most Pro-Life state in the country! Thanks to leaders in the House and Senate, we are one vote away from passing one of the strongest #ProLife bills in the country – standing for life, protecting women’s health, and advocating for the unborn.
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) May 15, 2019
The action in Missouri quickly follows similarly stringent antiabortion bills in Alabama and Georgia, which were both signed into law.
The Missouri bill would make it illegal for a woman to get an abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy and provide no exceptions for rape or incest, only for medical emergencies.
The bill defines a medical emergency as “a condition which, based on reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert the death of the pregnant woman or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
Doctors who violate the law could face five to 15 years behind bars, the AP reported.
Leading up to the vote, M’Evie Mead, director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri, said the Missouri governor “should be ashamed of riding the disgraceful coattails of 25 white men in Alabama who just voted to ban safe, legal abortion.”
“Following in their footsteps and those of politicians in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi will be disastrous for the patients Planned Parenthood serves and for women all across the country,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “Women: it’s time to rise up. Politicians have no place in our health care decisions. Every vote to ban abortion is a vote against us. We are counting and we will hold you accountable.
“It is no coincidence Missouri politicians are moving to ban abortion care within hours of Alabama’s disastrous vote and days after Georgia enacted its own extreme ban. This is a deliberate attempt to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, and to end the right to access safe, legal abortion in this country.”