This state just dropped the hammer on abortion.
The Missouri Senate just recently passed legislation that contains some of the strongest safeguards for for unborn babies and their mothers, this includes a ban on abortions from eight weeks of pregnancy and a declaration that makes Missouri a “sanctuary of life.”
“In recognition that God is the author of life,” begins the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act (HB 126). The state House Speaker Elijah Haahr (R) has also labeled this as “strongest pro-life bill in the country.”
“[I]t is the intention of the general assembly of the state of Missouri” to “defend the right to life of all humans, born and unborn” and to “declare that the state and all of its political subdivisions are a ‘sanctuary of life’ that protects pregnant women and their unborn children,” the legislation states.
“This comprehensive, life-affirming legislation prohibits abortions once a heartbeat has been detected, prohibits abortions when a baby is capable of feeling pain, and would outlaw abortion in Missouri upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade,” state Sens. Dave Schatz and Caleb Rowden summarized in a joint statement.
The bill was approved by the Republican-led state Senate, with a vote of 24-10, this vote came hours after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law a bill that bans most abortions at any time during pregnancy, except those necessary in order to prevent “a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”
The Missouri legislation is on its way to the Republican-led House for approval, before it can go to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson, also a Republican, who expressed support for it before.
“Thanks to the leaders in the House and Senate, we have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country,” Parson stated.
The measure protects unborn babies from abortion beginning at eight weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
The doctors who preform abortions after the eight-week period could face five to fifteen years of jail time. Women who receive abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy would not be prosecuted.
Furthermore, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, Missouri’s measure for abortions will include a complete ban on abortions except in cases of medical emergencies.
The Missouri legislation also contains its own contingency plan if the courts block the proposed eight-week ban, including a range of bans from 14-20 weeks of pregnancy, and a ban on all abortions due to race, sex or a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
“Momentum is clearly on the side of life and it is only a matter of time until our nation’s laws protect this foundational human right for all children, born and unborn,” said Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) president Marjorie Dannenfelser as she reacted to the state Senate’s approval.
Polling released earlier this year by SBA List found that 82 percent of Missouri voters – including 66 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents, 83 percent of women, and 61 percent of those who identify as pro-choice voters – support a law prohibiting late-term abortions.
“The time for negotiations is over,” said Missouri Sen. Bob Onder (R) prior to the vote, adding:
Every provision of the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act … is a provision that would protect innocent human life, protect pregnancy care centers and ensure that they get the resources they need to perform their valuable mission, and measures to protect the health and safety of Missouri women.
“The abortion rate is plummeting, even in places where there is access to abortion, and the Constitution says that every person has a right to life and it should be protected,” State Sen. Andrew Koenig (R) told NPR’s Here & Now.
Some Missouri Senate Democrats described the bill as “extreme,” reported NPR.
“This language four years ago would be unthinkable,” said Democrat state Sen. Lauren Arthur. “But elections have consequences. And with new Supreme Court justices, there is a renewed attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. And with that, there is a push in this Legislature to pass what I would characterize as very extreme legislation.”