Abortion foes can find some satisfaction in a wide-ranging abortion bill that passed in the Missouri House the past week, but there are “ifs” in the bill.
The main thrust of the bill depends on the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which is an “if” at this point. If that happens most abortions in the state would be outlawed.
The bill passed the House on a 117 to 30 vote and now goes to the Senate, where it is known there is some opposition. If it should pass the Senate, Gov. Mike Parson reportedly would sign the measure.
There are provisions in the bill that would take effect regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court does. Among the restrictions would be a ban on most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, possibly as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The Associated Press reported that similar bans have been struck down by courts in Arkansas, Iowa and North Dakota.
As expected, supporters of abortion rights say the bill goes too far.
The bill does include exceptions only for medical emergencies and not for rape or incest. Doctors who violate the law would face a felony charge.
The Missouri bill is not that unusual. Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have abortion bans that would kick in if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Efforts to pass bills limiting abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected are underway in states such as Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Missouri bill started out with such a ban and Republicans added other restrictions, including a ban on abortions based on race, sex or an indication of Down syndrome, and a requirement that both parents be notified before a minor receives an abortion, with some exceptions.
The Associated Press reported that Missouri already has some of the nation’s most restrictive laws on abortions, including a required 72-hour wait for women before they can undergo one. Abortions dropped in the state from 7,413 in 2008 down to about 2,900 in 2018, according to provisional data from the state Department of Health and Senior Sevices.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Nick Schroer, said it is “the most sound, comprehensive pro-life bill in the country.”
We have no idea what the Supreme Court will do about Roe v. Wade, but speculation is positive that it will overturn the law in the near future. We hope so. Missourians in the majority are pro-life The murders must stop!