Missouri Senate passes bill to ban abortions after eight weeks

Joann Johnston
May 18, 2019

Senate Democrats attacked the bill before Republican supporters had a chance to bring it up for debate on the Senate floor. The state's Republican-led House will have to approve the legislation before it is sent to the desk of Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

The ACLU is also challenging a bill in OH that restricts abortion after six weeks.

It held that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental right to privacy that protects a woman's right to abortion.

However, Republican state Senators Dave Schatz and Caleb Rowden published a joint statement praising the "life-affirming" legislation. Critics have condemned the bill as some women do not learn they are pregnant until the six week mark of a pregnancy, eliminating their right to choose abortion under the law in some states.

The 2020 presidential candidate from MA said establishing federal statutory rights to abortion services would pre-empt state restrictions, like those approved in states like Alabama, Georgia and Ohio.

Most anti-abortion bills have faced legal challenges. And they are hoping the Supreme Court will back their radical play. However, the ruling was made by a narrow margin and the case is due to be reviewed later this year.

Missouri is among a growing number of states where abortion opponents are working with renewed enthusiasm following President Donald Trump's appointment of more conservative high court justices.

The bill now goes back to Missouri's House. The author of the bill makes it clear the intent is to go after the person performing the abortion. The bill, the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act, bans abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, does not include rape and incest exceptions, includes an exception for when the life of the mother is in danger, and threatens to imprison doctors for 15 years.

It is now a class A felony for doctors to perform the procedure in Alabama, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Women who receive abortions would not be prosecuted. He declared in a Facebook post that it is "time to make Missouri the most Pro-Life state in the country" with a bill "standing for life, protecting women's health, and advocating for the unborn".

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That could have a profound impact on U.S. politics heading into the 2020 elections.

Missouri follows a raft of state level anti-choice enactments against abortion this year. Instead of pondering the selection of judicial nominees - a sometimes abstract concept - candidates for public office will be pressed for their views on outright prohibition. While men make up a majority of people putting these laws into practice, putting the blame exclusively on them also ignores people who are also complicit in limiting the reproductive rights of others.

"They sound more like sex predators to me", one user wrote.

Until now, the abortion issue has done more to motivate and engage evangelical voters than it has those on the left.

The state Senate voted 24-10 to pass legislation that would prohibit abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy unless the health of the mother was at risk.

"Clearly the sponsors of these abortion bans have become emboldened by the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court", said Caroline Mala Corbin, a professor of law at the University of Miami School of Law.

The Guttmacher Institute, which campaigns for reproductive rights, says none of these bans are yet in effect, but their introduction is part of the same strategy to get the cases heard by the Supreme Court, it says.

Overall 28 states are now considering legislation that would ban abortion in a variety of ways, it says.

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