Joining several other states in an effort to crack down on abortions, the Republican-led Missouri Senate has now passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.
The bill was approved on a 24-10 vote this morning, with just hours left before a Friday deadline to pass bills, @abcnews reports. The bill will now go to the Republican-led House before it makes its way to Republican Governor, Mike Parson’s desk to be signed.
Parson already made it clear he’d sign the bill if it passes. He called on state senators to take action, joining a movement of GOP-dominated state legislatures who are interested in the possibility of a more conservative Supreme Court overturning the landmark #RoeVWade ruling that legalized abortion.
Missouri’s State Senate vote came just hours after Alabama’s governor signed the strictest abortion ban in the nation Wednesday, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.
Missouri’s proposal includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face somewhere between 5 to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff, and women who receive abortions at eight weeks or later into a pregnancy wouldn’t be prosecuted.
Outnumbered Senate Democrats attacked the bill before Republican supporters had a chance to bring it up for debate on the Senate floor.
“So much of this bill is just shaming women into some kind of complacency that says we are vessels of pregnancy rather than understanding that women’s lives all hold different stories,” St. Louis-area Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp told colleagues. “We cannot paint with a broad brush and interfere by putting a law forward that tells them what they can and cannot do.”
Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected , which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Supporters say the Alabama bill is intentionally designed to conflict with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally in hopes of sparking a court case that might prompt the justices to revisit abortion rights for the entire nation.
“This is not a piece of legislation that is designed for a challenge,” Missouri’s Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr said. “This is the type of legislation that is designed to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state.”
Missouri’s bill also requires that both parents be notified for a minor to get an abortion, with exceptions. A change made after hours of late-night negotiations means written notification is only required if the second parent has joint legal or physical custody of the minor.
Under the current law, written consent from only one parent is required.
We’ll keep you updated on all the latest, Roommates.