Missouri latest state to enter abortion debate as Senate passes bill opponents are calling ‘very extreme’

Missouri is the latest state at the center of the raging abortion debate in America.

Less than 24 hours after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law banning abortions — except in cases of medical emergency for the mother — the Missouri Senate passed a bill banning abortions after eight weeks.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The bill will now head to the state House and then it will be off to Republican Gov. Mike Parson to sign the measure into law. The governor has made it clear that he supports the bill.

“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 told the press on Wednesday.

The bill passed the Missouri Senate on Thursday morning with a 24-10 vote.

The legislation says that “any person who knowingly performs or induces an abortion of an unborn child in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a class B felony, as well as subject to suspension or revocation of his or her professional license.”

Women would not be prosecuted for having abortions performed on them. There are no exceptions for rape or incest, similar to the legislation in Alabama.

Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio have also passed anti-abortion measures. Those laws ban abortions after a heartbeat can be detected inside of a pregnant mother, which is typically at about six weeks.

Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig told NPR’s “Here & Now” that he does not think this new bill will lead to women seeking less safe means of abortions.

“I think there’s a low risk [of that] … 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,” he said.

Sen. Lauren Arthur has called the bill “very extreme.”

“This language four years ago would be unthinkable. But elections have consequences,” she said. “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.”

The goal of this new bill, like the bills and laws being pushed in other states, is to join the cause of reversing Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision which made abortions legal in the United States.

“Today the Missouri Senate passed one of the most pro-life bills in the United States: Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act,” Sens. Dave Schatz and Caleb Rowden said in a public statement. “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.”

These new abortion bills have been controversial on both sides of the political aisle. Televangelist Pat Robertson even spoke out against the Alabama abortion bill shortly before it was signed into law.

“It’s an extreme law, and they want to challenge Roe vs. Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one will lose,” he said.


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