Missouri Senate passes antiabortion bill that bans termination from 8 weeks, days after Alabama and Georgia pass similarly hardline laws

  • A bill approved by the Republican-led Missouri Senate early Thursday would outlaw abortions at eight weeks, including in cases of rape or incest.
  • It must now pass the Missouri House and be approved by Gov. Mike Parson before it becomes law. Both are likely to let the bill through.
  • A series of states have passed strict abortion restriction bills in recent weeks.
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The Republican-controlled Missouri Senate has passed a strict antiabortion bill, which would outlaw the termination of pregnancies after eight weeks, including in cases of rape or incest.

The state Senate approved the legislation 24-10 at nearly 4 a.m. local time on Thursday, with only hours to go before a deadline to pass new bills, the Associated Press reported.

The bill makes exceptions only for cases in which there is a medical emergency.

The vote sends the bill to the Missouri House before it can be sent to the desk of Gov. Mike Parson, who has expressed approval of the bill.

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

A series of states in recent weeks have passed bills restricting abortion, with Alabama’s governor late Wednesday signing a bill banning nearly all abortions in the state.

Here are the states that passed such bans in recent weeks:

  • April 11: Ohio’s governor signed into law a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as soon as the sixth week of pregnancy.
  • March 21: Mississippi’s governor, Phil Bryant, signed into law a fetal-heartbeat abortion bill.
  • March 25: Arkansas’ governor, Asa Hutchinson, signed into law a bill banning abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy.
  • March 25: Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert, signed into law a bill banning abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy.
  • May 7: Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, signed into law a fetal-heartbeat abortion ban.
  • May 14: Kentucky’s House passed a fetal-heartbeat abortion ban, which a judge blocked following a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. Gov. Matt Bevin launched an appeal the next day.
  • May 15: Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey, signed into law a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.
  • May 16: Missouri’s House passed a bill banning abortions beginning at eight weeks. It still needs to complete the legislative process.

Architects of the strict new laws expect them to face legal challenges and eventually reach the Supreme Court, where there is now a conservative majority of justices who might undermine or overthrow the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that protects a woman’s right to an abortion.

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