Missouri Legislature passes abortion ban at 8 weeks of pregnancy
Friday - 17/05/2019 13:33
Tough, new abortion laws in Alabama and several other states face legal battles in court... and that's the point. We explain how they take aim at Roe v. Wade. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature has approved a ban on abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, and GOP Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign it.
House lawmakers gave the sweeping abortion bill final approval Friday.
The proposed ban allows exceptions only in medical emergencies, not cases of rape or incest.
The Missouri legislation comes after Alabama’s governor signed a bill Wednesday making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.
Republican-led legislatures around the U.S. are imposing new abortion restrictions, hoping more conservative justices will overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
If courts don’t allow Missouri’s proposed eight-week ban to take effect, the bill includes a ladder of less-restrictive time limits that would prohibit abortions at 14, 18 or 20 weeks or pregnancy. Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr has said the goal is for the legislation to withstand court challenges.
A total of 3,903 abortions occurred in Missouri in 2017, the last full year for which the state Department of Health and Senior Services has statistics online. Of those, 1,673 occurred at under nine weeks and 119 occurred at 20 weeks or later in a pregnancy.
Missouri lawmakers have until 6 p.m. Friday to pass bills. Other pending measures include a $300 million bonding plan to pay for bridge repairs across the state.