What You Need to Know - Roe V. Wade

Missouri governor signs bill banning abortion after 8 weeks

Missouri’s governor signed a bill Friday barring women from getting abortions once they’ve reached eight weeks of pregnancy.

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The bill made Missouri the sixth state to pass a bill that would all but outlaw abortions in most cases after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 24: Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill in a private ceremony in his office, the Kansas City Star reported.

“By signing this bill today, we are sending a strong signal to the nation that, in Missouri, we stand for life, protect women’s health and advocate for the unborn,” Parson said in a statement obtained by the Star. “All life has value and is worth protecting.”

The bill provides no exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest. It would make abortions illegal after 8 weeks of pregnancy for all women, except in medical emergencies.

The ban is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 28, barring a court challenge, according to the Star.

Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 17: Missouri’s House lawmakers passed a bill Friday that would make abortions illegal beginning once a woman reaches 8 weeks of pregnancy.

The Republican-led House voted 110 to 44 in favor of the ban, The Kansas City Star reported.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the bill, according to The Associated Press.

Like the stringent bill signed into law in Alabama earlier this week, the Missouri bill provides no exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest. It would make abortions illegal after 8 weeks of pregnancy for all women, except in medical emergencies.

It is one of several measures aimed at overturning the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, through a Supreme Court challenge.

Original report: The state’s Senate passed a bill early Thursday morning that would make abortions at 8 weeks of pregnancy or after illegal, NBC News reported.

It also outlaws an abortion based only on the sex or race of the baby or if tests of the baby indicate Down syndrome or the potential of the genetic condition, The Associated Press reported.

In cases of a minor seeking an abortion, both parents must be notified, if both parents share joint legal or physical custody of the minor, according to the AP.

The bill, called Missouri Stands With The Unborn, passed 24 to 10. 


>>Read: Roe v. Wade faces challenges in several states. Here they are

Like measures recently passed and signed in Alabama, and other states, the bill allows an exception for an abortion if there is a medical emergency, but not if there is a case of rape or incest.

Doctors could be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison if caught and convicted performing an abortion after the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The woman undergoing the procedure would not face prosecution, the AP reported.

It is a part of a push by pro-life activists to enact tougher restrictions on abortion hoping the bills will be challenged in the Supreme Court and could end with the overturn of Roe v. Wade by a conservative-trending U.S. Supreme Court, NBC News reported.

The Alabama bill was designed to go against the landmark case, the AP reported.

>>Read: Alabama abortion bill: 5 things to know about the legislation

Missouri’s bill still has to pass the state House before it can be signed by Gov. Mike Parson. The Republican governor has supported the bill.

The bill will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the AP reported.

During a debate in the Missouri Senate in Jefferson City Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Freshman senator, Karla May, D-St. Louis, listens to opposing arguments regarding Missouri's proposed new abortion law. Opponents of the bill have begun efforts to block it in that legislative body. The bill would prohibit an abortion after the unborn baby's heartbeat is detected.
Photo: Sally Ince/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP

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