Mere hours after Alabama’s governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law, the Missouri Senate followed in its footsteps, passing yet another draconian bill that would ban abortions after eight weeks.
According to CBS News, the bill would need to go through the state’s House of Representatives once more, although that is also led by the GOP, before making its way to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who had voiced his support for an earlier version of the bill on Wednesday.
Although the bill does include exemptions for medical emergencies, like Alabama’s horrific bill, it will not exclude pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
Doctors who perform abortions after the eight-week mandate will face up to 15 years in prison. Women will not be legally prosecuted, however that says nothing about their emotional, mental and overall physical health.
Republican Senate handler Sen. Andrew Koenig touted the bill as “one of the strongest” abortion bills yet passed in the United States. This is also given that Missourians who want abortions already have to go through a 72-hour waiting period to secure medical attention (narrowing that 8-week gap even more), with only one abortion clinic existing in the state, CBS notes.
“So much of this bill is just shaming women into some kind of complacency that says we are vessels of pregnancy rather than understanding that women’s lives all hold different stories,” Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp said while arguing against the bill on the floor.
However, unlike Alabama’s bill, Missouri’s bill would only start to take effect if Roe v. Wade – the landmarking ruling which legalized abortions – is overturned.
If the courts block Missouri’s proposed ban as it is, the bill has created room for less restrictive limits, ranging from 14 to 20 weeks.
Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr said that the legislation wasn’t built to challenge Roe – unlike Alabama’s bill, where Republicans in the state have clearly stated that was their intention.
“This is not a piece of legislation that is designed for a challenge,” Haahr said. “This is the type of legislation that is designed to withstand a challenge and to actually save lives in our state.”