Missouri lawmakers approve abortion bill
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 5/17/19, 02:20 pm
The Missouri House of Representatives on Friday passed sweeping protections for unborn babies in the state in a 110-44 vote. The state Senate approved the bill early Thursday morning, and Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, is expected to sign it into law. Except in cases of medical emergency, the legislation would protect babies from abortion as early as eight weeks into a pregnancy, but it also includes a ladder of optional cutoffs at 14, 18, or 20 weeks of gestation that would take effect if a court ruled against the law. Abortionists would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the cutoff. Women who receive abortions would not face prosecution.
The bill also includes a “trigger clause” that would protect babies from abortion at all stages of pregnancy, except for medical emergencies, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which led to the legalization of abortion nationwide. State Rep. Nick Schroer, a Republican who authored the bill, said his legislation is “made to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them.” Alabama this week enacted a law making abortion a felony at any stage of pregnancy except when the mother’s health is at serious risk. That law’s authors said they wrote the bill specifically to incite a court battle.
“While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal,” Schroer said. “However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready. This legislation has one goal, and that goal is to save lives.”
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