Missouri Senate Passes Eight-Week Abortion Ban

Child's clothes neatly stacked.

Child's clothes neatly stacked.

On Thursday, Missouri became the newest addition to the short list of states which have signed a “heartbeat bill.” Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Alabama have previously passed some sort of heartbeat bill which makes having an abortion illegal after a certain number of weeks- in Missouri’s case, it was eight weeks. In Alabama’s case, the new law makes abortion illegal from conception.

Heartbeat Bill

On Wednesday, Alabama passed a heartbeat bill which is currently the strictest abortion bill in the nation. It makes all abortions illegal, from conception to birth, with the only exceptions being significant health risks to the mother or when the fetus has a deadly condition. On Thursday, Missouri passed a bill which followed in Alabama’s footsteps, outlawing abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy.

Neither bills make exemptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking and the punishment for a doctor illegally performing an abortion in Missouri could be up to 15 years in prison. [1]

The bill passed through the Senate with a 24 to 10 vote. It will need to get passed through the house again, but people expect that that won’t be an issue since it was already passed once before, in February. Missouri Governor Mike Parson is expected to sign it into law when it reaches his desk.

“My administration will execute the laws the legislature passes and this pro-life administration will not back down,” Parson told reporters on Wednesday night. [2]

Missouri has already passed restrictive abortion laws in the past, and currently, there is only one clinic that offers the procedure.

Missouri Legislature is required to adjourn by 6 p.m. Friday.

Roe vs. Wade

Although some states have passed heartbeat bills with the hope of sparking legal challenges that will eventually challenge the Roe vs. Wade case, this time with the new, more conservative, Supreme Court majority.

Missouri legislatures deny that being the case for Missouri though. “This is not a piece of legislation that is designed for a challenge,” said Republican Missouri House speaker Elijah Haahr. “This is the type of legislation that is designed to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state.” [3]


Notes:

  1. ^Olmstead, Molly. “Missouri Senate Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban.” Slate Magazine, 16 May. 2019, slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/missouri-senate-strict-abortion-ban.html. (go back↩)
  2. ^McKinley, Edward, et al. “Missouri poised to join Alabama, Georgia as state senate passes near-total abortion ban.” kansascity, 16 May. 2019, www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article230458694.html. (go back↩)
  3. ^McArdle, Mairead. “Missouri Senate Passes Eight-Week Abortion Ban.” National Review, 16 May. 2019, www.nationalreview.com/news/missouri-senate-passes-8-week-abortion-ban. (go back↩)

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