On Friday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed into law a ban on abortion starting at eight weeks’ pregnancy.
And there ain’t no exceptions for rape or incest.
It’s another recent notch in the belt of pro-life government moves.
There’s doubtlessly a legal battle pending, but the law goes into effect in August.
Center for Reproductive Rights advocacy advisor Ashley Gray said the law stinks:
“It would be nearly impossible for patients in Missouri to access abortion care.”
Initially, the legislation was a fetal heartbeat bill. As told to Vox by state Rep. Nick Schroer, language was taken out in order to pass through the legislature.
As per Nick, while Alabama’s May 15th law (here, here, and here) is perhaps restrictive in a cavalier way — the most radical of any state in the union, in fact — Missouri’s ban was crafted with the intention of proofing it against defeat in the Supreme Court.
If the law is struck down in federal court, there’s a “ladder” of more permissive limits set to go into effect.
The Associated Press reports:
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.
“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.
Kentucky , Mississippi , Ohio and Georgia also have approved bans on abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy. Some of those laws already have been challenged in court , and similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa previously were struck down by judges.
Here are some points of HB 126, the Unborn Act:
- A ban on abortion solely on the basis of the fetus’s race, sex, or diagnosis of Down syndrome.
- A requirement that both parents be notified if a minor is seeking an abortion. Previous Missouri law required only one parent to be notified.
- An increase to the state tax credit for “pregnancy resource centers,” which provide counseling to “encourage women to carry their pregnancies to term” and do not offer or refer for abortions.
- A ban on abortion at about eight weeks’ gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest. A doctor may perform an abortion because of a medical emergency, but the law places the “burden of persuasion” on the doctor to show that the abortion was necessary, according to the AP.
- A “ladder” of bans designed to take effect if the eight-week ban is struck down in court, banning abortion at 14, 18, or 20 weeks.
- A “trigger” provision that would ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy, except in the case of medical emergencies, if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
There’s a storm brewing in America, and abortion is at the eye. A lot of things are going to come to a head. But as I’ve said before: The fact that Alabama can ban abortion wholly while New York legalizes abortion’til birth illustrates the cultural and political differences state to state.
And that stands, in my view, as a testament to the legitimacy of the United States — an association of autonomous territories and governments. Our founding documents position the federal government as a very limited power. Politicians have gone a different route for quite a long time; but I believe in that constitutional system.
Surely more varied abortion laws are coming. As for now, Missouri’s the latest to join the pro-life legislative brigade.
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